I just attended a conference for bloggers and really got the most for my money because I took the time to prepare for the conference. Yes, there’s more you can do besides just showing up. I’m going to give you 20 ways to prepare for a conference and rock it like I did!
The reason we go to conferences are many. I’m self employed as a blogger so I’m a company of one. Attending a conference was as great way for me to connect with other bloggers and learn from my favorite writers.
Preparing for a conference doesn’t have to be a chore or overwhelming. I’ve come up with a check list for myself that I want to share with you. I’ll even explain why a suggestion is a good idea.
Here are my 20 best suggestions on how to Prepare for a Conference.
1. Order and pay for your conference tickets in advance.
Most conferences have a limited number of tickets available. Waiting until the last minute to reserve your spot could leave you without a ticket. This is usually due to space.
2. Book your Hotel.
Do this asap. Hotel rooms fill up fast and it’s slightly inconvenient to stay at another location. You lose out on valuable networking by not staying in the same place as all the action. There is normally a conference package with the hotel venue.
3. Book your Travel .
Go ahead and make these arrangements as soon as you book your hotel. Waiting will put you at risk of not arriving at your preferred time. Don’t forget to check or use your miles.
4. Create a file for receipts .
Print out everything you can and keep them all in one spot. At tax time you’ll be glad you’ve got it all in one place. Also, don’t forget you can claim your gas receipts too for anything blog/business related.
5. Make a conference binder or folder.
This could prove invaluable by having one location for pertinent conference info, hotel and flight info plus you could study it while traveling to your destination. Include pocket folders to hold handouts and flyers. Bring extra pens
6. Sign up for newsletters or updates about the conference.
Keeping yourself “in the know” about conference news will also inform you of any changes that might impact your travel. Sometimes there are featured guests, products or cool info that’s good to know about in advance of the conference.
7. Follow the conference on social media.
Follow or Like them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Find out what their hashtags are. This is a great way to access the mood and learn who the big players of the conference are. The conference owners and sponsors are also watching to see who’s participating, it’s to your advantage for them to see your name.
8. Reach out to other attendees via social media.
Start your net working early by interacting with other followers. This is perfect for the Introverts to get ahead of the game. It also comes in handy meeting people for the first time because you already kinda know them.
9. Scout the Route.
This is especially important if you’re driving. GPS doesn’t always tell you about road closures. Familiarize yourself with the conference location and print out maps of the area if you need to. Keep copies in your conference binder.
10. Study the workshops that are offered.
Look over the class descriptions before you get there. That way, you’ve got some idea of which lectures would benefit you most. Many times, classes are limited, so knowing in advance which ones are most important for you will save time.
11. Dietary Needs.
Inquire with plenty of advance notice about the menu if this is a catered event. Letting the organizers know what your special needs are, helps them plan accordingly.
12. Make hair and nail appointments.
Not getting into your favorite salon for a touch-up would be frustrating. Don’t chance not getting a trim or wax. Book asap.
13. Dress Code.
Knowing what to expect and how to pack makes perfect sense. Don’t be the one in formal wear and the other attendees are wearing super casual. The biggest difference here are the shoes. Know before you go. Is a trip to the mall in order?
It’s easy to get prescriptions called in to almost anywhere but what a huge inconvenience to have to deal with forgetting your medication. Take inventory before time and it saves you the aggravation of running out.
15. Child Care, Pet Care and Mail Service.
The sooner you know who will handle these things for you the better. Childcare of course is the most important, I was lucky enough to have my in-laws come to my house to help.
16. Business Cards.
Make sure your business cards have the most up to date information on them. Another helpful idea is to include a current picture of yourself because it will help others remember you long after the event.
17. Confirm your reservations and arrangements.
About a week before your conference, confirm all the arrangements you’ve made and reservations. This is where you find out if any errors making your reservations have been made and can fix them before you leave.
Packing before you feel rushed will help you remember things like extra charging cords, extension cords and replacement batteries.
During your conference take as many pictures as you have time and share them on social media using the conference hashtags. This promotes them and gets you noticed. Plus you’ll have other attendees asking you to share with them.
If possible, personally thank the conference organizers and sponsors. Everyone appreciates a thank you and it’s a perfect time to network one on one, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Conferences don’t have to be all work and no play. Networking could mean making lifelong friends and meaningful connections with a few steps of preparation, you can make your next conference work for you.
Here is the list again:
- Prepay Conference Tickets in Advance
- Book Your Hotel
- Make Travel Arrangements
- Create of Receipt File
- Sign Up for Conference Newsletters
- Follow the conference on Social Media
- Reach out to Attendees via Social Media
- Make a Conference Binder
- Scout the Route
- Study Offered Workshops
- Dietary Needs
- Hair/Nail Appointments
- Dress Code
- Child Care, Pet Care and Mail Service
- Business Cards
- Confirm all Arrangements
Email me at email@example.com and request my secret for being the most popular attendee at my last conference.