Liz Jazwiec, RN: Making the Best of Attending a Conference

As a professional speaker and author I am a frequent presenter at conferences and conventions. I find that most people do gain from the lectures, appreciate the opportunity to network, and enjoy getting away from the day to day workplace. But once those 2-3 days are over all of that disappears. So here are some tips I can share to make your next conference the best and have the benefits last.

Before the conference
Do your homework; go beyond scheduling your breakout sessions and making hotel reservations. Take a look at the agenda, if you are attending with another colleague; resist the urge to sign up for all the same things. Split up and get double benefit from the event.

Once you determine your schedule, dive into the details. Take a look at each session, review the objectives, and research the presenter. Write down two or three of your own objectives so that you get the most from the session.

And the last thing you should do before you get to the conference is take a look at the attendee list if available. Plan ahead of time who you would like to connect with and network. If possible send out emails ahead of time, just a simple note that might say, “Ellen I see you are attending the ACEP conference next month, I would love to connect with you”

At the conference
Stick with your plan! Attend the sessions, make your connections and see what else the event has to offer. Sometimes there is a book store, or poster presentations, and of course the exhibits. Don’t forget the sales exhibits, yes they are there to sell products, but they also come armed with valuable information. Take your time when going through the exhibit area.

When in each session, make an effort to write down just one thing that you will do upon returning to work. Take as many notes as you would like, but we all know what happens to those notes. Make a list of just one thing from each session and you have a much better chance of making changes that will matter.

Connect with the speakers, get their contact information. You may find that you want to share information from their session; if you do it is nice to have their contact information in the event you have any questions. Or you might want to be recommend a speaker to present for your organization.

After the conference
Take that list you made of the one thing you want to implement from each session and rank it by ease and benefit to apply. Then work on the list ONE at a time. Most people never accomplish anything new after returning from a conference, so if you do even 1 or 2 you will be ahead of the game.

Follow up with the connections you made. Hopefully you came back with a pocket full of business cards. Do this quickly, maybe even while you are on the plane. Write your emails before the commotion of your real job takes over. And if you act fast your contacts have a much better chance of remembering you. A note sent 2 months later will most definitely go unnoticed.

And finally, thank your boss in a written note or email. Your organization invested in you by sending you to the conference. Let your boss know that you appreciated the opportunity and sum up the benefits. Share those one or two ideas you are planning on implementing. Let your boss know the investment was worthwhile and you might just get an opportunity to attend another great conference.

Follow these simple tips when attending a conference and I believe you will find the benefits multiply!

Bio of Liz Jazwiec, RN

Liz Jazwiec RN

Liz Jazwiec, RN is a nationally renowned speaker, strategist and author. In 2010 her book, Eat THAT Cookie! How Workplace Positivity Pays Off..For Individuals, Teams and Organizations was chosen as a winner of the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award in the leadership and management category. She can be contacted at Liz@Lizjazz.com

WVU IMC Program Hosts Integrate 2011 in Morgantown

The West Virginia University IMC Program reached out and asked if we could put some information up on the blog about their Integrate 2011 conference on June 3-4 in Morgantown.  Those of you familiar with this WVU program might be familiar with this conference by its former name, IMC Weekend.

WVU IMC Integrate 2011

Integrated Marketing and Communications Confernce at West Virginia University, June 3-4, 2011

With one of our employees and several friends and acquaintances currently going through the IMC program, I hear great things about it all the time.  Registration rates vary, but you can save a boatload by signing up before May 1st.  Simply click on the link above to learn more, view the workshops, and register.

Social Media Business Forum Wrap-Up

In case you missed it, the State Journal’s Social Media Business Forum was held this past Friday, April 1st, 2011 at the University of Charleston.  Their panel featured two Next Generation Marketing alum – Justin Seibert and Jeff James – plus Emily Bennington and Bob Coffield.  In addition, the opening intro into social media was delivered by Julie Hewett.

The attendees – mainly from all over West Virginia (yay for the great support from the Panhandles!), but also from Ohio and Kentucky – were able to ask questions pertaining to their own social media efforts both planned and in effect.  A huge thank you to the State Journal for putting on the event and everyone that came out.

Seibert then headed off to Columbus, OH the next day to present How to Protect Your Online Reputation at the Digital Media in a Social World conference. If you’re updating your Where’s Waldo maps for Seibert at home, that would mark four separate universities in the last month:

  • West Virginia University
  • The Ohio State University
  • West Liberty University
  • University of Charleston

Social Media Business Forum Coming to Charleston, WV Apr. 1

For those of you who have inquired about future Next Generation Marketing events – and those simply interested in learning more about using social media for business – we wanted to let you  know about an event the State Journal is putting on April 1, 2011 in Charleston, WV.

This social media business forum features two speakers from our last series: Jeff James of Mythology Marketing and Justin Seibert of Direct Online Marketing. Jeff and Justin will sit on two panel discussions with a couple other great homegrown speakers, Emily Bennington of Dixon Hughes and Bob Coffield of Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso. Other speakers include Karen Saxe of netSpray, Julie Hewett of JulNet, and Kevin Nelson of Huddleston Bolen.

We’ll add another post when we receive registration information.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, keep a lookout for more information from the State Journal, either online or in print.  Hope you can join us!

Mallabo.net: Your Source for All Things Jose Mallabo

Hey everyone – sorry we’ve left this blog go dormant for so long as we’ve been in the process of figuring out how we want to handle it (note – haven’t decided yet).  In the meantime, one of the speakers from our Pittsburgh conference in 2007 – Jose Mallabo – has a new blog, so we wanted to pass it along.

Mallabo.net offers a look at issues pertaining to social commerce from someone who’s been deeply involved in it from his time at eBay, LinkedIn, and GSI Commerce.  So to read more about what Jose’s been up to – especially if you’re interested in using social media to increase your site’s ecommerce sales, take a look!