Without the right preparation, conferences can feel like an overwhelming rush of presentations, conversations, and networking events.
How do you figure out which sessions to attend? Should you skip the cocktail reception? And what should you do if you’re an introvert who hates small talk?
If you are joining us at ThoughtSummit 2019, it’s time to start planning how to maximize your time in Vancouver. Here are ten ways to help you get the most out of ThoughtSummit:
Define your objectives and strategy
Whether you’re looking for new communication insight, intranet tips, or fresh perspectives on building a more engaged workplace, ThoughtSummit can help! But before joining us in Vancouver, it’s worth setting aside some time to determine your own conference goals and a plan for how you will achieve them.
Bring a colleague
Having someone you know at a conference can take a lot of pressure off. When you aren’t feeling anxious about meeting new people, or worried about standing around doing nothing, it is much easier to assert yourself. Plus, ThoughtSummit offers a discount for bundled tickets.
Bring your business cards
We live in an age where everything is digitized, but it’s still worth providing your new network contacts with something physical that will remind them of your interaction. Check your business card inventory now so you have some ready for ThoughtSummit.
Leverage your social platforms
There are numerous benefits to leveraging social media at ThoughtSummit. First, it allows you to connect with other attendees prior to the event. Be sure to include the designated hashtag (#thoughtsummit2019) in all of your Tweets. The other benefit of using social media is that it positions your organization as an employer dedicated to improving engagement, collaboration, knowledge share, communication, and productivity.
Put the phone down
Yes, I know we literally just recommended you leverage your social platforms, but that doesn’t mean you should be glued to your phone the entire conference. Resist the urge to constantly check emails (make sure to set up your out of office responder), message friends back home, or play Candy Crush. You are at a conference for the in-person interaction, and you don’t want your phone to be a barrier to making connections.
Write some content
We often ask our own employees to write follow-up blog posts detailing what they experienced at an out-of-town conference. It’s a fantastic way to share knowledge and new reflections with colleagues who were unable to attend. Writing a post-conference recap also has additional benefits as it allows you as a participant to really be engaged in the sessions you attend. You can include your summary of the best talks, workshops, and any key takeaways you gathered.
Connect with the speakers
Our speakers are experts in their fields and are really approachable people, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or hang around after a session to say hello. Need an introduction? Just ask one of our team members and we will be happy to help facilitate one. We also encourage attendees to connect with any of our speakers on social media.
Take care of yourself
Let’s be honest, we have all been at a conference where someone (hopefully not you) arrived late to a session wreaking of alcohol, and not the mouthwash kind. We don’t want to sound like your like mom, but if you really want to get the most out of a conference, you need to eat well, limit alcohol consumption, and aim for some decent sleep. The good news, however, is that Vancouver is one of the best places in the world to adopt a healthy routine, and still have a great time!
Come talk to us
As organizers of ThoughtSummit, our staff are great resources. We love connecting with our attendees and can assist you in things like introductions, restaurant recommendations, or things to do in Vancouver. Like travel? Ask Amol about his recent trip to India. Love animals? Ask Darren to show you pictures of his new puppy. Dreading awkward small talk? Come find Christie or Kelly—they are classic introverts who always enjoy deep insightful conversations.
Keep in touch
Was there something you missed out on at the conference? Was there a connection whose name you have misplaced? Is there specific feedback you would like us to have? Don’t be a stranger—feel free to reach out to any of us at ThoughtFarmer following the ThoughtSummit conference.
If you haven’t got your ThoughtSummit tickets, there is still time to join us. Save your seat now!
Have questions? Get in touch! We're always happy to hear from you.