Getting the most out of a conference you’re attending takes some strategy. I’ve found that conference attendees leave feeling overwhelmed by everything they learned, and by everyone they met. It’s a lot to take in! I have a short guide to help you win while attending your next (or first) conference.
This guide will lead you to get the most out of conferences. Instead of leaving feeling overwhelmed, you’ll feel empowered with a solid action plan and with many new friendships.
Getting the Most Out of a Conference Guide Overview:
- What to Expect
- Realize the Potential
- How to Apply What You Learn
- Network, Network, Network
- Become a Connector (Taking it to the next level!)
#1 What to Expect
This short course that will teach you how to get the most out of conferences you attend. Learn to maximize what you learn and how to apply it. Leave a lasting impact on those around you!
When attending conferences, people always say the same thing, “I’m overwhelmed by all of this information!” Conferences can be information overload. It doesn’t have to be this way! This course will teach you how to develop a plan and system to ensure you get the most out of your next conference!
#2 Realize the Potential
Conferences contain an enormous amount of value. You need to get yourself into the mindset that it’s going to be a huge win. Take every minute of it seriously. Don’t play around on your phone, checking emails, and scrolling through social media. Stay as focused a possible. You’re going to thank yourself later.
How to get in the right mindset at a conference:
• Show up ready to learn and have high expectations
• Remove distractions, stay focused
• Take detailed notes:
– Make it your goal to learn and understand
– Pretend like you have to give the same talk right after someone else
• Remember that you can learn something from anyone: remain teachable
#3 How to Apply What You Learn
All conferences end up becoming information overload. I travel the nation speaking at conferences, and I find that many people feel overwhelmed toward the end of the conference because they’ve learned so much and taken so many notes on the different sessions. They don’t even know where to begin, and they’ll never have time to implement what they’ve learned. Because of this, the worst thing ends up happening. People leave and do nothing.
I want to quickly explain a 5-step system that is going to help apply what you learn at a conference:
STEP ONE: Take notes on everything you possibly can. If you feel like you can learn from it, take notes on it.
STEP TWO: Keep your notes organized and as detailed as possible. Don’t just write a sentence here or there, thinking you’ll remember what you meant by this little note at a later date or time. (Even if you have to go back later that evening and fix up your notes, do it!)
STEP THREE: Prioritize your notes. Here’s the deal, you’re never going to get everything done that you learn at a conference. Not without a long-term plan; that is. What you need to do is build a list of what the most important things you learned were. Here’s how we’re going to do that.
You need to organize your main points/notes using the following filters. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is going to have the most significant impact on my business?
- What did I learn that is extremely important and need to start right away?
- How much time/energy will it take for me to implement?
Now, organize all the notes you took using the above filters. Then, put them in order of most important.
Your list should only end up with between 2-4 items on it, depending on the complexity of implementation. Focus on what matters for your business today and tomorrow, not years down the line. (We’ll get into what to do with those.)
STEP FOUR: Start and achieve something. Now that you’ve figured out your most important take-aways, you’re ready to start implementing it. Start with number one, stay disciplined to get it applied to your knowledge or system for running your business. Then repeat the process for items 2-4.
STEP FIVE: What about everything else you learned? I want you to utilize your calendar. When you’re organizing your notes, I want you to add them as “events/tasks” in your calendar at a later date to spend some time working on. Don’t plan on doing it all right now. (Some conferences I go to I schedule things I learned 6 months out in my calendar. That’s because I know that’s when I’ll be able to focus on it, and when it matters to my business, it may not have the same effect today.)
For more on this topic of application, check out this podcast episode: How Millionaires Learn, Grow and Achieve More
#4 Network, Network, Network
Networking is easily the most crucial part of every conference you’ll ever attend. I have a story to share with you.
A few months ago, I was attending a conference in Orlando. There were about 1,200 people at this conference. I knew there were people there that would help me grow my business and take it further; likewise, I knew there were people there that I could connect with and help. But 1,200 people that I don’t know? That’s intimidating! I can remember walking into the massive hallway for the first time. I felt a bit nervous, which is unusual for me. But I grabbed that feeling and left it at the door. I was on a mission to network with as many people as possible.
You will not believe who I ended up meeting and what doors ended up opening for me from this networking experience. (I share the rest of this story in my online course, How to Win at Networking – which I’d love to have you go through as it will be beneficial for you. Details below.)
Here’s the point: Network with other conference attendees every chance you get. (The connection you need to take your brand to the next level may be a few seats away from you.)
#5 Become a Connector
If you desire to leave a lasting impact on people and be remembered by everyone you meet, you need to become a connector. This is a skill that each of us can obtain with a little bit of practice and intentionality.
We cannot cover everything that it takes to become a great connector here, but I have one tip and one resource for you.
TIP: Focus on helping others instead of helping yourself. Seek to add value. Serve the people you meet. (If you can get this, you can become a great connector!)
RESOURCE: Once a quarter I run a 12 person masterclass on the topic of connecting. Visit the masterclasses page to see if we have any availability left. (Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this!)
Networking, connecting and applying what I learn into actionable steps are some of my favorite topics! If you’d like to have a further conversation about any of this, I’d love to continue talking and help if I can! Please join the Creating a Brand Community (free) and send me a direct message and we’ll chat. I hope you enjoyed this guide!
QUESTION FOR YOU (COMMENT BELOW)
If you were to add a 6th point to this guide for getting the most out of conferences, what would it be?