This is not your first rodeo.
You've been to professional development conferences before. You know the tried and true tips about how to prep, how to use the hashtag, how to network and how to engage. Let's play a new tune, shall we?
Read on for 5 off-beat but totally on-key ways you can rock your next conference and any other upcoming PD events on your calendar!
Let’s Get The Band Back Together
Be a Connector
As you're networking, spread kindness around like confetti. Listen for clues as you meet new people, find out what they're interested in, then play matchmaker with another conference attendee. Whether in person, on the app, on social media or even post-event, being a connector helps you stand out, helps you build authentic relationships and helps you pay it forward.
The Hall Of Famers
Watch for Facilitation Best Practices
There is a wealth of knowledge at PD events, but to find your next upbeat summer jam, go beyond the subject matter at hand and pay attention to how the session is being delivered. Watch for great facilitation ideas, tips, room setups and even language. Learn from the greats and bring this back into your own practice or organization. After all, once the conference is over, the show must go on.
The Hook Brings You Back
Ask Different Questions
As you introduce yourself, at the end of your pitch, ask a creative question every time. Skip "what do you do?" and "what brings you here?" Instead, let them know you're trying out a new networking tip. Try "what is lighting you up lately?" or "What are you working on at home?" or even "what's something that has surprised you lately?'. We ask our clients to step out of their comfort zones all the time. Come on, try on those blue suede shoes!
Hack Your Notes
How often, after you return from an event, do you look at your notes and wonder what they actually mean? Use colour, symbols, graphic note-taking and other creative means to take excellent notes that you can action and reflect on later. As soon as a session ends, record 3 take-aways and 3 ideas to try or share. There is no Shazam app for your brain. Imagine if you could capture a truthbomb from a session like a catchy lyric?
Best Concert Venue Ever
Even rock stars need rest. Get out of the conference space and enjoy the sun. Take a few breaths outside, bring some people out with you and connect them with each other. Self-care helps you learn and grow as a professional. The conference will still be there after you get some Vitamin D. After all, rock n’ roll is here to stay.
Is this your jam? …. Join us on Twitter to follow our adventures at upcoming conferences and for more helpful articles for Helping Professionals.