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April 28, 2017

3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Professional Conferences

Last week, multiple members of Team True were lucky enough to get out of the office and attend the 10th Annual YouToo Social Media Conference at Kent State University. (And two members presented a break out session.) And while I love attending conferences, I’ve noticed more and more that the people attending conferences are there physically, but not always mentally. You might be asking what I mean by that last statement. Let me explain.

It’s no surprise that we live in a society where multitasking is the norm. And while I’m all for trying to cross multiple items off of my never-ending to-do list, it’s not worth it when you miss out on what’s happening right in front of you. Not to mention that professional conferences aren’t cheap, so you should absolutely get the most out of your company’s investment. So the next time you find yourself at a conference, try the following tips to get the most out of your experience.

Limit Emailing: Professional development is one of the main reasons you go to conferences, right? But if you’re constantly working and emailing and taking calls, are you really getting anything out of the conference? Put your out of office response on and try to limit the number of times you check your inbox. You’ll get so much value out of actually giving the speaker(s) your full attention. I promise!

Resist the Urge to Live Tweet: If you don’t tweet about it, were you even at the conference? I’m joking- but seriously, for those who can continuously live tweet at a conference, I applaud you. For me, I find that I’m listening for the next great quote to tweet, and then not really paying attention to what the speaker is actually saying. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to never post to your social media channels during a conference, but I would absolutely try to limit the number of times you’re staring at your screen instead of looking at the speaker. Instead, go old school and take notes with a pen and paper!

Don’t Skip Networking: A few years ago, if I would have seen a networking session at a conference, I would have tried to avoid it at all costs. Why? Because networking is nerve-wracking! At least for me anyway. But now that I’m a few years into my professional career, I realize how crucial it is to attend any networking opportunity that is presented to you. So make sure you pack extra business cards and get out there and talk! You never know who you’re going to meet.

There you have it- three easy tips to get even more out of your next conference experience. And if you’re looking to improve or sharpen your social media skills, I would highly recommend attending next year’s YouToo Social Media Conference!

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