How To: Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines Summit. I am truly glad that the management in our office believes in arming people with information relevant in our field. Not all offices are like that. I have seen some tweets where people wanted to attend, but couldn’t. Attending a conference can truly make a big difference if you make the most out of it. Most conferences are not free to the public, and more often than not, they can be quite a dent on the budget. However, if the itinerary is something you know you would definitely benefit from, then go for it!

There are several things that you need to consider and try to do when you get the chance to attend a conference:

1. Be on time – Make sure to plan appropriately for the conference. If the venue is far from where you live, leave early. If you come in on time or earlier, you are guaranteed to have the best seat in the house.

2. Network – Talk to people and introduce yourself. Conferences are a great way for you to mingle and interact with people in your field or field of interest. I was fortunate enough to meet and interact with @jowyang and @papadimitriou. They are Twitter rockstars and truly wonderful speakers. I have learned from their tweets and now being able to meet them and hear them in person was a thrill. It is also advisable to always carry your calling card as well, you will never know who you will get the chance to meet.

3. Listen and ask relevant questions – Listening is important. I included this because some people tend to work when they are in a conference. I think that beats the purpose of joining the conference. Most conferences also allow time for questions and answers. If you have something you want clarified, ask. If you are too shy to approach the mic, try to approach the speaker after if you can.

4. Share what you have learned –  Create a # or a hashtag for the conference and tweet relevant information. People tweeted when we were in the conference and the recipients who could not attend told us that they appreciated the information. Most conference organizers also have websites where the speaker’s materials are shared. Share them with your office mates or friends that you feel would benefit from what you have learned.

5. Put into practice what you have learned – Last but certainly not the least, whatever you have learned from the conference, put it into practice.

I thought I would also share some of the pictures I was able to gather during the conference.

Here is @robbiehills discussing social gaming.  He is also the Managing Director of Rock You.  He was also very kind enough to allow me to write an article featuring his insights on social gaming. Watch for that.

Here is our Tweetwall.  Questions can also be sent in via Twitter.

A TweetUp was done after day 2 of the conference. It is a good idea to host a Tweet Up, especially if you know a lot of Twitter peeps who you follow or who follow you are attending. It’s a great way to meet each other in person. We had almost 90 who attended the Tweet Up.

We waited to have our picture taken with one of the speakers, @maria_ressa. She is a journalist and heads the news team at ABSCBN. She has also worked at CNN as anchor.

Main Image Source : Conference Time