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7 Ways to Get the Most Out of an Industry Conference

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Conferences play a significant role in just about every industry by providing a setting where like-minded people can connect through networking, share ideas from different aspects of their work, and learn from each other. Although conferences were forced to adjust how they function as a result of the Pandemic, year 2022 saw a return to normalcy as a more traditional business schedule resumed.

Tavant took full advantage of the departure from virtual events and excitedly jumped right back into the fray. Our FinTech team represented Tavant at 25 industry conferences this past year. We know times have changed, and because of that, we want to share our top 7 tips to help you be as prepared as possible for all the conferencing that will take place in 2023.

1: Preparation is key.

Preparing is an essential tip for any conference attendee, rookie, or veteran. Having an idea of what information you are looking for and reviewing the agenda allows you to plan accordingly, so you don’t waste any time and can get the most out of the event. Finding out who’s going, if possible, and figuring out with whom you want to connect enhances the possibility of you creating new connections.

Also, it is important to make a plan that works for you. If you are better at networking and more of a social butterfly, maybe setting up more meetings or going to frequent get-togethers will help you get the most out of the conference. Regardless of your sensitivity to social interactions, it wouldn’t hurt to have an “elevator pitch” ready in case the opportunity presents itself.

Lastly, make sure you bring any items you might need, like chargers, business cards, or anything else you might want to help you get through a long day. No one wants to leave a conference with their strongest memory being a missed opportunity.

2: Gold star attendance.

This may seem like a no-brainer but attending the sessions is one of the best opportunities that you will have to learn new aspects of the industry and potentially what your competitors are up to. Take notes, bring a recorder, or whatever you need to do to help you gather and retain as much information as possible to benefit you and your company.

3: Networking is essential.

Networking is a big part of conferences – it leads to new relationships and opportunities that can have incredible value for your individual professional career or the success of your company (preferably both). If you have been to conferences before, reach out to past or potential colleagues in the industry beforehand instead of wasting time trying to find them during the conference. This will save you time and allow you to take in more of what the conference has to offer. Try to connect with a speaker if you can, but this might require a backstage pass and some luck. Don’t forget: a lot of networking is done outside the venue, so attend those after-parties and other extracurricular events in order to maximize success.

After the conference, reach out and chat with those you met to help build those new relationships. This allows the connection to grow and shows your appreciation for having met them, which feels good for whoever is on the receiving end.

3: Be active on social media.

One aspect that people might overlook with everything going on during a conference is being active on social media. LinkedIn is the easiest way to connect with like-minded professionals and stay in contact with people. Twitter is also a solid option depending on how public-facing your industry or company tends to be.

Scrolling through the newsfeeds of your relevant social media accounts before a conference may give insight into who is attending and the topics that might be covered. Furthermore, checking for any conference-specific hashtags is always a good idea. This will also make it easier to anticipate and understand the thoughts and interests of those attending, specifically those who are excited enough to post about it online and share it with their colleagues.

If you are short on content, try diversifying the type of content you share on social media by taking more pictures and videos while at the conference, particularly of yourself with people you’ve met. Remember: a photo is a lasting memory, making it a great way to connect with people and develop strong professional relationships. Not to mention, if you are one of the first people to post about a conference you are attending, then you are far more likely to maximize the size of your audience for that content, thereby bringing more brand awareness to your company.

Be sure to ask for the consent of all parties involved before taking pictures to avoid any unwanted photographic attention!

5: Stay organized.

Conferences can be overwhelming – there is lots of information being exchanged with not always enough time to process everything. This is where staying organized comes into play. Having a well-thought-out organizational system will help you stay on top of your schedule during the conference and make it easier to keep track of names, session notes, business cards, and other information after the conference has finished. Whether it’s labeling information properly right away or taking time to collect everything necessary at the end of the day, the small efforts you make could be the difference between new opportunities and missed ones. Whatever you come up with, make sure you have a plan that works for you.

6: Divide and conquer.

While this applies more if you attend a conference with coworkers, it is essential that you don’t all attend the same sessions, as it limits how much your company could have gotten out of the conference. Instead, spread out and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to learn more and connect with more people. Also, make sure to set up a meeting time with your coworkers before and after the events to plan or recap the day. Divide and conquer your conferences!

7: Manage your health.

Our last tip for you is: take care of yourself! You are in for a busy time so make sure you are managing your health and bringing anything you might need to maintain that. Also, wear comfortable shoes since you will be on your feet and moving around a lot. Don’t forget to eat, sleep, and keep yourself hydrated.

Some additional tips we thought of that you might find helpful are:

  1. Staying at the conference hotel or a nearby one can help save time and energy as you won’t get lost navigating the city or need to memorize the city’s layout. This also raises your chances of running into others attending the conference and gives you another shot at making more connections.
  2. If you want to stand out or be more memorable, wear an exciting or noticeable piece of clothing to give people a reason to remember you.
  3. Be kind to the organizers and workers; they may have secrets that help you get the upper hand.

 

We hope you enjoyed these tips and found something practical to help crush your conferences in 2023.

Tavant’s Fintech team attended these events in 2022: MBA Servicing Solutions Conference, ICE Experience, CRE Tech, MBA Tech, Inman Connect NY, CMBA’s Mortgage Innovators Conference, MBA Secondary Conference, IMN’s Non-QM Forum, MISMO Spring Summit, Digital Banking Conference, Western Secondary Conference, Mobile Payments Conference, Digital Mortgage Conference, Dreamforce, HousingWire Annual, FreddieMac Connect 2022, LendingTree Client Summit, and MSR Forum.

To keep up with Tavant’s upcoming events and conferences, visit us here or reach out to us at [email protected].

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