The conference lifestyle is a true grind. The programming can begin early in the morning and continue into the late hours of the evening. This aspect of the typical conference schedule has pros and cons.
Pro: the longer days mean you have more time to learn from speakers and network with other conference attendees. Con: it is a long day.
DO…Remember to be flexible.
The plans you made will change. Perhaps you had planned to attend a program that the conference is offering, but a connection you made after an earlier session would like to grab a coffee during that time. You must then make a decision based on the plans you have made thus far.
Your plan is a guideline to keep you from getting lost in the endless possibilities the event presents to you.
DO NOT…Make a fool of yourself. Nobody wants to be the person who leaves the event with a ton of business cards, but not an ounce of dignity.
As long as the conference is on, YOU are “on.” Quite simply, during the event you will encounter scores of people. Some could be potential employers, colleagues, and perhaps most importantly, friends. You do not want to lose their respect before you have even met them!
Any time you have food or drink at the conference pace yourself and remember your manners.
Dress to impress. Wearing the appropriate attire reflects well on you as a professional. It means that you respect and honor those around you, it shows that you think about the impressions you make on others, but most importantly, it shows that you respect yourself.
After the conference…
DO…Follow up with new contacts you made at the conference.
Send an email thanking them for taking the time to speak with you. Mention a topic you were talking about and ask if they would be willing to continue the conversation at some later date.
DO NOT…Delay. Follow up with new contacts within 48 hours of meeting them.