How to prepare for a conference

Get a better conference experience
May 8, 2014

Attending a conference soon, but have no idea if or how you can prepare for it? Continue reading for some useful tips on how you can ensure you’ll get the most out of the educational convention.

1. Dress to impress

As we all know, first impressions go a long way, and this is also true when attending a conference. What are the advantages of dressing well?

  • Shows signs of importance – If you look good, you’ll feel good. That being said, if you dress and walk with confidence, people will certainly want to engage with and ask you questions, which is exactly what you want at a conference!
  • Grab the opportunity – You’d be more likely to feel comfortable attending a spur-of-the-moment dinner party or volunteer as a guest speaker if you are already dressed for the occasion.
  • It’s all about respect – Dressing sharp sends signals of respect at professional events. If you show signs of respect, people will in turn respect you and give you the opportunity.

2. The importance of your elevator pitch

As we’ve mentioned, first impressions are everything. This is why you should present yourself in such a way that guarantees you’ll be remembered.
Don’t be afraid to show people your business card – explain to them what you do and how you can be of benefit – but keep it brief!

3. Write a packing list

We all know how awful it can be to realise you’ve forgotten something important at home. Rather make a checklist of all the important things you’d need for the conference, and tick them off as you pack.

4. Do research!

To know who you’ll be dealing with at a conference, research the people who will be attending.

  • Online research – Almost everyone today has an online presence. Read up on them by listening to podcasts or watching interviews to learn how they can make a great contact. You can also impress them by mentioning what you have learned when you do meet them.
  • Contacting the speakers prior to the conference – Speakers are there to help and to share their valuable information. Unfortunately, they tend to have very limited time during the conferences. Make your brief face-to-face moments more valuable by reaching out to them a few weeks before the event, when they have the time.

5. Prioritize and schedule

Planning is very valuable when attending a conference – make sure to set up a schedule before you reach the convention to ensure your time is well spent.
The key is not to stick strictly to the schedule, but to have some sort of structure.
And remember, have fun! Conferences mean nothing if you aren’t willing to learn from others, develop your networking skills or just have a chat with some influential people.