Heading off to a conference and wondering how you can make the most of it? Read How to Make the Most of a Conference.

The countdown is on for my first blogging conference.

With 12 days before I fly out, I have a lot of work to do and a birthday to celebrate in between.

It’s going to be a busy couple of days!

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Over the weekend, I printed out the conference three-day session program and started working out which sessions I want to attend.

This task may sound easy enough but with 10 sessions to pick from in certain time allocations I have my work cut out for me. On top of that, several of the speakers I was looking forward to hearing are up against each other in the same time slot.

At this point, I’m happy I decided to buy a virtual ticket as well.

That way I won’t miss out on any of the great speakers (though it will take me a while to go through them all).  Once the conference is over, it will be a case of prioritizing which talks are most relevant to what I am trying to achieve on my blog and starting with those.

After running through my session preferences, it was time to investigate the venue itself. Though I have been to New York several times, I have never been to the Jacob Javits Convention Centre.

Having a look through their website and floor plan I’m realizing this conference venue is a lot larger than what I am used to. We’re talking several levels, multiple rooms on each subsection, a food court, coffee shops and much more.

Quite frankly I am hoping I don’t get lost. Only joking, well sort of!

Since this is my first conference I am sure I will have a lot to write about after the event but for now, I have included five links from people who have gone before me.

I have highlighted my favorite piece of advice from each post.

Freelance Switch – How to Make the Most Out of a Conference or Expo

The point that stands out the most for me in this post is about business cards.

Mainly because I currently don’t have any.

At the moment, I’m looking into getting some printed up. It goes without saying there is a vast difference in the quality of cards available.

I have also been reading about the dangers of simply throwing your business card at every person you talk to.  From what I have read and heard a lot of them end up in the bin. I don’t want that happening with mine.

John Chow – 8 Killer Tips on Getting the Most Out of a Conference

Don’t just hang out with friends is my favorite tip in this post.

Technically I won’t have any friends (at least not ones I have met in person).  I have to say though, I’m very excited about meeting some of the friends I have made online.

With that in mind, I will have to resist the urge to stay close to my existing online friends and make sure I meet some totally new people.

I’m also hoping other people heed this advice since many of them will have a lot of friends at the conference. If they stick together in their own groups, it will make it more difficult for me to meet people.

The Daily Muse – 10 Ways to Make the Most Out of a Conference

In this post, my highlighted piece of advice is to make sure you follow-up in a timely manner.

Come to think of it, several of the posts mention the importance of follow-up, however, there seems to be some variation on the timing of the follow-up.

With plans to stay in New York for a week after the conference, I will definitely have to schedule some follow-up time while I am in New York as well as when I get back to Australia.

The 99 Percent – 5 Tips for Making the Most of a Conference

My favorite tip from this post is definitely keeping the action steps separate from the wisdom.

As a person who takes a lot of notes, it can be very frustrating to have to sift through pages and pages of writing to find that all important action you need to implement.

The other tip I particularly like is writing your intended action down on a person’s business card. It’s another great way to make cards useful and practical.

Work Awesome – 8 Ways to Make the Most of a Conference

My favorite tip from this post is quite simple. Have fun!

With so many thoughts and tasking racing through my head, I will need to remind myself to take a deep breath and enjoy myself.

If you have a conference or a networking event coming up, you might want to ramp up your networking skills with an online course. CreativeLive have an excellent online course – The Art of Networking that can get you ready for your event.

Another resource that might come in handy is the book How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success.

I hope these conference and networking tips help you make the most out of your next event.

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