Spotlight on Meetings and Conventions
Five tips on how you can maximize the impact after you attend an event
Seasoned attendees who have attended their lot of major conferences and conventions know that once the events are through, the routine inevitably settles back in, making it sometimes difficult to take advantage of the networking opportunities and key learnings that were offered.
Delegates from a variety of different industries and fields have all got similar tricks of the trade to ensure that they generate long-lasting impact after they attend events.
1 Keep the content fresh in your mind
While you may be somewhat tired after an event and just want to rest on your flight or drive, remember that all the program material is still very fresh in your mind.
Make the most of your travel back home and carve out some time to reflect on the event. It’s the best time to reflect on compile the content you found most compelling and relevant to your work. Clean up your notes and read (or re-read) the material from keynote speeches, sessions and workshops. Structure all the information that you’ve gathered to as a useable reference for the months to come.
2 Share with your colleagues
When attendees leave an event, they are often inspired and stoked to implement changes or develop new projects based on thought-provoking speeches or training. You need to channel that energy to galvanize your team.
Plan an event follow-up meeting with your colleagues and supervisor to share the insights you gleaned from the conference or convention. It’s the perfect way to ensure that everyone in your organization benefits from the event’s content. Write a report, create a presentation and share handouts that you received. These meetings also help to align teams on potential new ideas or strategies that could enhance your current operations.
3 Act now
It’s one thing to hold a meeting. It’s a whole other ballgame to actually follow through on what you’ve learned. Along with the right team members, develop a series of related tasks and timelines in your calendar.
Naturally, you need to remain realistic based on everyone’s current workloads and available resources. However, you don’t want to lose the event’s steam! The faster you start committing yourself, your team and your organization to the topics and best practices that were addressed, the more likely you’ll benefit from a higher return on investment. Don’t just tell colleagues the conference or convention was worth it. Show them!
4 Strike while the iron is (relatively) hot
Once you get back to the office, avoid the temptation to only address the sea of emails and tasks that have been building up while you were away. One or two weeks after the event, add information on the people you met to your contact-management program or CRM. Enter further details on the conversations you had and why the contact is strategic for your work. In addition, connect with them through professional social media networks, like LinkedIn.
Then, schedule when you will touch base with priority contacts to ensure that you and your organization remain top of mind and take the next steps to building long-lasting the relationships.
5 Practice what you’ve learned
If you attended an event that was focused on brushing up or learning new skills, don’t relegate the training you’ve received to manuals and your notes. Use the knowledge and know-how you gained—today.
There are many ways to accomplish this. The easiest? Pinpoint areas in your day-to-day work where you can effectively apply what you’ve learned. Encourage your colleagues to adopt the new approaches or methodologies you were taught. Monitor post-event blogs or intranets to unearth complementary information that can boost your skills even further.
These pro tips are essential if you are looking to extend the value of your company’s investment in attending conferences or conventions—and the influence they have in your success!