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Using social media to enhance or prepare for your next conference or event might seem like a no-brainer, but many conference goers get so excited about the “going,” they fail to make the preparations that can transform a good conference into a great one.
Before you leave the house, board the plane, or turn on your computer, make sure you are conference ready:
It is not just the teacher in me that encourages this; your practice and preparation before the event will guarantee an “A-Plus” time when you arrive. Consider the following assignments:
You have introduced, talked, connected… but what happens if you can’t remember their names or contact information? I take notes on the back of business cards, in my special moleskin notebook, and with key apps on my mobile device. I make sure I have extra batteries for my camera so, I can capture and share the event via Flickr, Facebook and YouTube pages.
As incredible as technology is for communication, there’s nothing like connecting with your network in person. If there are no scheduled “meet ups” with people you want to connect with, take the reins and organize one yourself. Mashable has an incredible step-by-step guide to organizing the Perfect Meetup.
Another great way to find out where people are hanging out during conference time is Foursquare.
And, don’t forget about staying connected at home. Make sure you tell your family and network where you are going and what you are learning from the experience. Ask them if there is anything they want you to bring back with you. Agree to post a blog, a tweet or update your Facebook page so you can keep everyone abreast of all you are learning.
Can you remember the top five take-away ideas you had from the last conference you attended? How much sharing did you do? Sharing is not only fun and valuable to your network; it has huge effects on how you will retain and remember the experience. Repetition is key to memory retention. The more you can repeat your new learning and share your take-aways, the more likely you’ll retain and apply the things that are most important to you.
Each time you discuss it, blog it, tweet it, post it, and link it, the content becomes clearer and more connected. It is important to begin the process of reflection immediately following the conference.
by Angela Maiers
Angela Maiers is founder and president of Maiers Education Services. This originally appeared as a blog post on angelamaiers.com. Used with permission. These are also great tips to use when planning to attend our 25th Annual Creative Training Techniques® Conference.