After a year or more of virtual events, we are starting to see in-person attendance at conferences again. If you have an industry event or conference coming up, you may be feeling a little out of practice after Zoom meetings became the norm.
Making the most of your valuable time away from the office is important! Read on to learn 5 practical ways to maximize your conference experience.
5 Ways To Maximize Your Conference Experience
Attending industry events and conferences is a fun way to learn and network with new people. There are some ways you can make sure to get the most from your time at the conference.
Pick the right event.
Many conferences and events are competing for your attention, time, and money. Recognize that you can’t attend them all, so you have to consider the benefits of each conference. Many conferences publish general attendee information, like company and level, from prior years so you can see who usually attends this conference. Does it fit your needs? The educational session list will tell you a lot about what to expect at the event, as well. Finding sessions that align with your interests and CE needs is important. The American Agents Alliance 2021 Conference & Expo is filled with CE sessions and courses to provide you with many learning options.
Exchange social media contacts.
When you meet a new colleague or lead at the conference, make sure to share social media details to connect easily. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect by creating a QR code for your profile – simply have your new contacts scan your QR code to become connected on the app. To see your own QR code or scan someone else’s code, open the LinkedIn app on your mobile phone and click the QR code icon within your search bar. That opens a screen with your QR code or a scanner.
Use and follow the conference hashtag.
Find out what hashtag the conference is using for its social media posts and follow their hashtag. You can use it when you share details about the conference, which helps you engage with event organizers, sponsors, and other attendees. Even after you’ve left the event and are back home, staying connected to the hashtag means you’ll see relevant posts and perhaps meet people you missed at the conference.
Schedule meetings in advance.
Some conferences have an app with a social feature you can use to chat with other attendees or another way to connect with fellow attendees. Schedule meetings in advance using the app to connect if there is someone you want to be sure to meet – that way, you can find a convenient time for you both in advance. Conferences tend to become busy for attendees between all the educational sessions and social events, so having a set appointment time to meet for a coffee or chat between sessions is a good way to maximize your time.
If there’s no conference app, don’t worry, just get proactive – announce on your social media when you’ll be at the conference and open for meetings. Reach out to your connections you think may attend and ask for a meeting with them or their company representative. Find creative ways to connect and schedule meetings.
Go to the social events.
Sometimes it’s exhausting going to conferences and you may not get the best sleep in a new hotel but making the extra effort to go to social events can be a great way to meet new people and maximize your conference experience. Corporate sponsors or the event organizers often have after-hours parties – you can check out some of the local culture while indulging in free food and drink and networking with colleagues! These events are often where some of the best connections are made, so don’t miss out on the fun events when you’re at a conference.
Register Now for The American Agents Alliance 2021 Conference & Expo
Still deciding which conferences to attend in 2021? Registration is now open for the American Agents Alliance 2021 Conference & Expo in Palm Desert, CA, on September 23-25. Don’t miss the largest P&C event in the West as we meet again in person with interesting CE sessions, available carrier appointments, our annual golf tournament, live music, and lots of fun networking and social events!