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Tips on Attending Your First Conference

Attending a conference is a great opportunity to learn from experts in your field and meet new colleagues all over the country (or even all over the world) who can be a great asset for business advice and guidance. But attending your first conference ever can be a really intimidating experience, especially if you’re all by yourself.

It’s really easy to just attend the workshops and withdraw into your hotel room without interacting with anyone—but you would be doing yourself a disservice!

Here are a few tips on attending your first conference confidently and coming away with new contacts, fresh ideas, and a new outlook on work.

Wear Something that Makes You Feel Confident

You may not be attending a conference for the fashion industry, but what you wear will show a lot about who you are to others. While you may not ever get dressed up for regular business hours, it’s important to get a little spiffy for conferences. Wear something that makes you feel confident and that fits correctly so that you’re not tugging or pulling on your outfit all day.

Bring Your Business Cards

If you have some business cards already made up, be sure to bring them along with you to the conference and have them handy throughout the day. (If you don’t have any business cards made up, be sure to reach out to our expert virtual assistants who can help you design a logo for your cards, website, and other promotional materials.)

It’s likely that you’re going to be spending a fair amount of time exchanging business cards with other professionals at the conference. In order to remember who’s who in your collection of business cards, jot down a few details from your conversation to help you remember which card belongs to which professional. You definitely wouldn’t want to email the wrong person post-conference!

Don’t Be Afraid to Sit Next to Someone

When you go to conferences you’ll be attending lots of panels and listening to lots of speakers. Try to get to the conference rooms early so that you can find someone who looks nice and ask them if you can sit next to them. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about where they’re from, what company they work for, and ask them questions about how they’re enjoying the conference.

Know Your Limits

Making friends and contacts is a great outcome of a conference but remember that you’re also there to learn! While going out and enjoying a few rounds of margaritas with your new contacts is fun—don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do the social aspects of a conference. If you want to attend an early morning panel and don’t think you’ll be up for it after a long night, it’s perfectly okay to say no!

photo credit: malachus



Posted on June 26th, 2018 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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