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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I’m with you on the business cards thing – you go to the effort of making a great card and the cost of printing and (totally made up statistic) more than half of them will end up in a bin or sit somewhere neglected for months only to be thrown out when spring cleaning eventually happens.
Some great links though, I’ll keep them for future reference.
I have an update on the business cards. I ordered them today. I am waiting to see what the graphic designer comes up with, so should be interesting. You are right though I certainly don’t like the idea of them ending up in the bin though!!
I just remembered I was hoping to ask you something. I loved the idea about the 5 year diary. I went out last week to buy one but couldn’t find one anywhere in town. I found some online but they were more expensive than the ones you can buy in the newsagents (though they were exactly the same diary). So I was wondering if you would mind telling me where you bought yours because I am keen to get one? I look forward to hearing back from you.
I bought mine from the local newsagent – which is hilarious because I spent weeks going around to Officeworks and smaller stationery companies and even book stores trying to find one. I agree about the online ones – they were all too expensive once you factored in shipping. FYI mine was $34.95 at the newsagents. It’s Collins Debden brand so I jumped on their website, with shipping (in Australia) it ends up as $42.95, I can send the link if you want, or you can keep hunting for something cheaper. Good luck with finding one 😀
The next conference I will be attending is Catalyst East in Atlanta. It’s a couple of months off but will be a great one.
Quick piece of advice for BlogWorld. You HAVE to see Michael Hyatt’s presentation. The man will blow you away!
You’ve also posted great advice on how to get the most out of the conference. Take “Don’t just hang out with friends” to heart. You’ll get so much more out of it if you’re able to mingle and network with those you don’t know. Connections made there can be amazing.
My friend recently had an experience at a conference that landed him a book deal. All because he stepped out of his comfort zone and didn’t stay just with friends.
I wanted to reply and tell let you know I made sure I caught Michael Hyatt’s presentation at the conference. You were spot on, he was an amazing speaker. I really enjoyed his presentation, so much so I went out and bought his book afterwards. 🙂
Watching different presenters speak was truly fascinating. Some were totally interactive and moved around the room, others stood on the stadium the whole time. Michael didn’t move around but he also didn’t need to. His speaking style is so polished and he has great timing when telling a story and there isn’t any fluff or unnecessary filling in his presentation.
Thanks again for your great tip, I’m really glad I added Michael to my list and got to see him present in person.
Glad to hear you were able to catch Michael’s presentation and enjoyed it. His book is amazing. Easy to read through but something you’ll refer back to often.
Your excitement about going to Blog World is getting me thinking that an event like this would is something that I would enjoy doing. I’m now giving much thought on doing this. I will be looking forward to going to a conference in the Los Angeles area so I can add some extra time on to the trip to see some friends. My wish list of things to do again is to take a couple of weeks to enjoy a drive along the coast and visit some of the places I enjoyed in the past. I saw the western states many years ago by motorcycle and bedroll. The Pacific Coast Highway is one that I have driven many times over the years.
As to business cards, for many years now I have designed my own. I find that my life changes faster than what is on my business cards and yet a good design can stay the same and just the information changes. A thought on giving and getting business cards is that they represent a brief moment in time when we come together with another person. Afterwards it’s what we do with that brief moment. What I have done is to send each person a short note mentioning the meeting and that I am looking forward to our paths crossing again and if we spoke about anything significant I mention it at well. Include another card. Time consuming? Yes! Effective? It’s as effective as you want it to be. Friendships don’t just happen. Friendships happen when we extend ourselves to others.
I once started a career in an industry where I was told that I would never make it in that business because it was all based on who you know. So I went out an made new friends in that industry.
Health, happiness and a life of bliss, Lee
Thea, Good stuff!
My best tip is, “You get out of a conference… what you put into it.”
The people who come back saying they didn’t get anything out of it… are the same ones who stood idly by. They didn’t participate. They did’t meet people. They didn’t introduce themselves.
Sounds like you have a plan! Best wishes and hope to see you in NYC. 🙂