Spring is officially here and so is conference season. Over the next few months, there will be a plethora of digital marketing events that will be vying for your attention. Which one should you attend? Which is the best?
While the latter is completely subjective, based on historical data (last year’s conference) I can vouch that The Art of Marketing
is one worth attending. So, I’ve come up with a short guide on how to optimize your conference experience for best results.
Do some sleuthing beforehand.
Read up on all the conference speakers and roundtable panelists. Visit their company website. Follow them on Twitter. Get an understanding of their industry so you have some context during their presentation. Bonus: Since you’ll already be following them on Twitter, the app will autocomplete their handle when you mention them on social media.
Don’t bring your laptop, tablet, cell phone, and notebook to the conference. You don’t need all the devices. Pick one so you’re not lugging around a large bag in between speakers and breaks. Personally, I’ve always used my phone and never felt like I was missing out because it allows me to make notes, tweet, and connect with people for the future.
Live-tweet during the event.
Live-tweeting is a great way of growing your follower base, establishing yourself as a thought leader, and creating digital notes of the conference to share with others. I attended The Art of Marketing last year and decided to live-tweet throughout the whole event. You’ve got to type quickly, discern your content, and engage with others. At the end of the event, I had grown my follower base by 25 people and created some great online conversations. Some may disagree with live-tweeting, saying that it takes away from your event experience because you’re not in the moment, but I find it forces me to think and digest the information I’m learning very quickly because I need to share it with others. Use Storify
to sum up your tweets after the event.
Bring back up.
When I say bring back up, I’m not talking about your posse. What I mean is to make sure your devices are charged up the night before and bring a portable battery charger
to ensure your device doesn’t die from all the live-tweeting and/or digital note taking. These things are a life saver for events, traveling, and making new friends (in need of a charge).
Have a positive mindset.
The most important thing you can do to enjoy an event is have a good attitude no matter what. It’s true some conferences can be crowded, stuffy, and impersonal. However, you can choose to make the most of the event by approaching it with a positive mindset. Keep this quote
by Captain Jack Sparrow in mind: “The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.” Choose to be excited about being in a new space around like-minded people. Be thankful you’re taking this day away from work to think without your usual distractions. Your only mission today is to leave with more knowledge and insight than you had the day before.
I could go on with more tips and advice on how to enjoy a conference, but I’d like to turn the conversation over to you instead. What’s your best conference tip? Do you agree with live-tweeting? What speaker are you most excited to hear from?