Conferences can be an intimating space...sometimes you are attending as a representative on your own or sometimes you are going with a group of colleagues from work! Both have their merits. When you are on your own, you are forced to mix and mingle with new people which is a great opportunity for expanding your network. If you go with colleagues, you can tend to stay in the same bubble the entire time unless you are mindful about seeking out new connections.
Depending on your personality you might LOVE or HATE going to conferences. For myself, I love them! I love connecting in person with people that I work with. I enjoy exploring new cities! Or should I say eating in new cities...I'm just a hungry girl waiting for her next meal. I was always scoping out the must see and must eat at places.
If I am also brutally honest with myself too...sometimes its nice to be away from the home life. Business trips are not vacation by any means BUT hear me out. For a few days I get to revert back to my sole responsibility is to get myself ready and get myself where I need to go. I have a whole hotel room to myself! I don't have to get up and let dogs out or get people ready in the morning or think about what we will have for dinner! I had two ways I approached going to a conference. The first (usually at the beginning of the conference ) I would wake up early to go work out and do something for myself. The second way would be to inevitably allow myself to sleep in and be a little lazy with my habits simply because I could enjoy the slow moments without guilt or the need to rush.
For a successful experience its important to be be mindful and intentional of your experience. I would also like to remind you to think about all of the peoples whos months and months of strategic planning and time went into creating the conference. Next time you are at a conference, stop and pause. Look around at all the details on the show floor. Everything has been specifically planned, charted, and laid out. Take time to truly notice the sponsors and thank them for the coffee station, drink station, meditation room, keynote speakers etc. Thank the people who are working the registration desks. It took a team to pack all those swag bags and materials for you to halfway look through. Treat the hospitality staff at the convention center or hotel kindly. What they are pulling off is nothing short of a hospitality miracle. Don't forget to thank them.
Top 10 tips for a Successful Conference Experience:
1) Show up seeking authentic connection with clients and vendors. 2) Wear comfortable shoes. 3) Drink lots of water. 4) Try not to overindulge at the nightly parties. 5) Drink lots of water. 6) Take time to explore the city. 7) Remember you are paid to be there and do your job and represent your company well. 8 ) Enjoy the alone time away from the family without guilt. 9) Take in the Keynote speakers and free learning/training opportunities that conferences provide! 10) Don’t forget to call home.
BONUS TIPS: (These tips were posted as follow up suggestions from my IG post. @wellbeingwithrosa)
Get outside! It can be hard to be cooped up at conferences all day for some based on their career. - Nicholas S.
Stick to your normal sleeping and eating schedule (based on potential different time zones) will make an easy adjustment when you return home. - Nicholas S.
Be part of the set up crew, not only for attention to detail but also for the opportunity to run into people in a casual setting. - Debbie C.
At a conference, you get back what you put into it.
What other tips would you give to conference goers?
If you would like Rosa Castano to come lead a Stress Management Workshop or be a Keynote Speaker at your company or conference, please emails: firstname.lastname@example.org