In just about any line of work, whether you’re involved with human capital management or anything else, it can be beneficial to attend conferences and similar industry events. These events give you the chance to network with others in your industry and acquire a great deal of insider knowledge.
However, going to a conference can be daunting, especially if the event is on the larger side and you don’t have a game plan going in. It’s overwhelming. There are so many events on the schedule and so many people around you – where do you begin?
At Ceridian, we are gearing up for our annual customer conference, INSIGHTS 2015, so we’d like to share some strategies to help you make the most out of attending an industry event.
Get familiar with the agenda
Once the conference actually starts, everything’s going to happen fast. So prepare yourself beforehand by learning the agenda, identifying the events and sessions you really want to attend and mapping out a plan. If you prepare well now, you’ll be thanking yourself later.
Bring the right gear
The easiest way to ruin the event experience is to forget a key item that you really need by your side. Don’t forget to pack those laptop and phone chargers. Bring business cards for introducing yourself to new contacts. And bring the right attitude! That can go a long way.
Network with the right people
An important part of any conference is finding key people to make connections with, introducing yourself and sparking a relationship. Don’t just hand them a business card – after that step, you’ll also want to go back and follow up with a note on Twitter or LinkedIn. Doing this right away will help you stay top of mind.
Keep up on social media
Chances are, there’s a way to use social media to your benefit during the conference. Is there a hashtag people are using to talk about the conference? Are there big activities that everyone’s planning for, or key takeaways people are discussing? Many attendees will “live-tweet” from sessions they are sitting in on. Following the conference hashtag is a great way to catch up on themes you may have missed because you were double-booked for a session.
Get a ‘conference buddy’
Often, with the big events, you can’t attend every activity on the schedule – there’s just too much going on. If you don’t want to be out of the loop, you can ask a colleague to split the sessions with you and share what they learn.
Look into mobile apps
Does your conference have its own mobile app that attendees are using to stay up to date? If so, you may want to consider downloading it. Using event apps is a great way to keep tabs on everything that’s happening.
Get out of the conference room
Not everything important is happening in your session room. Take advantage of any special events that the organizers are hosting. Many conferences are now offering wellness activities in the morning. Attending a walk/run or a Yoga class in the morning is a great way to get outdoors and network with attendees in a more casual and fun setting.
Register now for INSIGHTS 2015, the hottest HCM user conference around (July 14-17 in Las Vegas)!