This sponsored post is produced by SXSW V2V.
As spring turns to summer, there are a number of fantastic conference events on the calendar. The organizers of SXSW V2V would like to share five simple tips on how you can make any conference experience more valuable:
1. Put Down Your Device:
Everyone knows that face-to-face interactions are the real value of attending a conference. When you have your head buried in your smartphone or laptop the entire time, you send a message to others that you are unavailable and uninterested in opportunity. As veteran SXSW speaker Thom Singer says, “During scheduled breaks, do not walk the halls as a ‘Phone Zombie.’ Spend your breaks in discussions with others. While standing in line, say ‘hello’ to people. There is power in the word, and it can spark conversations.”
2. Be Flexible and Open to Serendipity:
Planning and building your schedule ahead of time is always a good idea, but don’t be locked into your plans and expectations. For example, missing out on a particular conference session to grab coffee with a new contact might be the best business decision you ever make.
3. Pace Yourself:
When trying to take advantage of your limited time at a conference, it can be easy to forgo basic needs such as sleep and a healthy diet. Add to that the combination of alcohol at networking events and the dry air at many convention centers, and you could quickly be off your game. Staying hydrated and sticking to familiar behavior patterns will help maintain productivity, ensuring that you leverage all your newfound knowledge and inspiration when back in the office.
4. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone:
Do you work in marketing? If multiple options are available, then don’t go to sessions on the topic of marketing. Attend panels outside your specific area of expertise. Rather than reinforcing what you already know, you’ll expose yourself to completely new concepts, fresh approaches, and business practices.
5. Always Leave Feedback:
Most events have some kind of post-conference survey. Unfortunately, many attendees are under the impression that such surveys don’t get read; but think again. As first noted in “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” markets are conversations, and most event producers are now listening carefully to a variety of channels for thoughtful feedback. Take advantage of the opportunity to share your thoughts and experience directly with organizers and help the event evolve. This not only impacts the event you are attending, but down the line it will help raise the bar for the entire events industry.
Join us August 11-14 in Las Vegas or at one of our upcoming Meet Ups in a city near you. Visit sxswv2v.com for details.
[Photo credit Adrian Romero]
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