It’s easy to walk into a conference and feel overwhelmed and unprepared. Spending a little time in preparation, can help you get the best return on your conference investment.
Bear in mind that while conference attendance is about development – it’s as much about business and relationship development as it is professional development. Here are some tips to consider as you’re preparing to attend Revolve Conference.
Before Coming to Revolve Conference:
- Prepare your packing checklist (if traveling): Make sure it includes items such as business cards, branded pens (to share with people who need a pen), personal and branded name tags, conference badge flags that promote fun and conversation, or other items that might help develop relationships and serve as icebreakers. If you’re known for wearing funky socks, hats, brooches, bow ties, or scarves, be sure to include them in your packing list.
- Update your social media profile images: Particularly those images that appear on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Make sure your profile displays a recent photo so other attendees will recognize you when they see you, especially if you are actively using the RevolveConf Twitter hashtag – #revolveconf
- Interact on Social Media: Use the conference hashtag (#revolveconf) to facilitate communication before, during, and after the event.
Come Equipped With:
- A Game Plan: Know why you’re attending, and what you want to get out of RevolveConf. Then, develop a plan to accomplish your goals. Before you arrive, answer the following questions: Why am I attending? Whom do I want to meet? What do I need to accomplish? Review the schedule ahead of time and pinpoint the sessions you want to attend.
- Conversation Starters: Sometimes conference chitchat can be painful. After the standard, “What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” questions, an awkward silence typically ensues. Come prepared with conversation starters to slip in to keep the conversation going. My favorites are related to the content: “Which session was your favorite today?” or “Are you excited about any of the upcoming sessions?”
- Business Cards &/or the LinkedIn App: Business cards should be kept handy for a quick trade off, but if your new friend is on LinkedIn, using the app is an effective way to make an immediate and lasting connection.
- Mints/Gum to Share: Mints are great icebreakers. Always have some on hand, in case somebody asks for one. Or, try having one yourself while chatting in a group. Inevitably, someone will notice, become insecure about his/her breath, kick him/herself for not bringing any and ask you for one. Next, you’re chatting.
- Your 30-Second Pitch: People are going to ask you what you do. Make sure you have a clear and concise 30-second pitch that communicates who you are, what you do, and more importantly, what you are looking for. Most people say what they do, but very few say what they are looking for. Who knows, the person you happen to be talking with may be hiring.
- Portable Battery Chargers: At any conference, you rarely have time to charge your phone or tablet. With extensive social media and phone usage, you often end up with your phone being completely dead before the day is over.
How to Make the Most of the Conference:
- Take notes: After a long day of sessions and networking, it is easy to forget who said what. Take notes throughout the day, during talks, and directly after conversations with people so that you can reference these later. Note-taking will also help you stay alert throughout a very long couple of days.
- Put Away the Smartphone: You’re at a conference to learn and have in-person interaction, and you don’t want your electronic devices to be a barrier to making those connections. (Let people know you will be away: set your voicemail and email autoresponder to notify people that you are not available). So while you don’t have to disconnect completely, put the phone away when you’re waiting for a session to begin or taking a break at the coffee bar, and give yourself a chance to strike up conversations with the other attendees around you.
- Connect With the Speakers: The speakers at Revolve Conference are notable industry experts – they are people you want to know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or hang around (even as the last person) at a session to say hello, tell them you loved the presentation, and grab their business cards. If you don’t get a chance to ask your question in person, you can always follow up by asking them on Twitter (see individual speaker profiles for links to their twitter profiles. Twitter handles will also be listed in the conference program).
- Be prepared for insightful conversations: Do your homework (We’ve made it easy for you). Read the Speaker Spotlights featured on the blog for deeper insight than is offered on the individual Speaker Profiles. Print and/or review them in advance. Then, when you meet the session presenters, you can have a sincere conversation. Who knows what tidbit you find in a spotlight could spark a connection.
That said, we at RevolveConf look forward to hosting you in beautiful Charleston, and providing you with quality content in a learning environment conducive to making those oh-so-important, and resourceful connections.
About the Event
Revolve Conference embraces, promotes and fosters the interdependence between Experience Design, Strategy, and Marketing disciplines. The event will feature innovative designers, creative thinkers, savvy marketing technologists and top-notch business strategists who will inspire you to do great work, move your ideas from concept to execution, and perhaps change your perspective on how you position your brand.
Moreover, Revolve delivers timely, relevant content, and provides opportunities for you to make connections that you’d deem valuable, both personally and professionally.