There is nothing quite like the opportunity to get away from the everyday routine of your office and attend a conference to build up your career. The learning, networking, and professional lunches may have you feeling amped up, energized, and ready to share with the world everything you have learned.
However, conferences can also have a crazy period of nonstop meet and greets, to the point where your head is spinning from all the overwhelming connections being made. Plus, you are probably thinking about getting settled back into your office, tackling the emails waiting for you, and attending the meetings that will follow. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose the momentum built within a few hours of returning home.
How will you remember everything you learned, and, most importantly, how will you preserve the post-conference glow and maintain your revived energy?
Before heading home, there are a few must-do items that will help keep the momentum going and get you organized before you dive back into the mayhem of the office.
- Brain dump.
Have you ever arrived home to read over your notes and not understood one word you wrote? Somewhere between the overload of conference information and the hastiness with which you wrote down the ideas you wanted to remember, you may realize that this would be the perfect time to know shorthand. Two things to do before heading home, when everything is still fresh in your brain, are to review and to rewrite important notes. I typically carry two notepads with me—one for housing the scribbly day of notes and the other for rewriting any important ideas I want to remember and share with others. Here’s another tip: Search the conference hashtag online. Oftentimes, on the day I travel, I will dive down the hashtag rabbit hole and jot down anything I may have missed from other attendees and sometimes even the speakers.
- Continue to network on social media.
Just because the conference has ended and you have checked out of the hotel doesn’t mean you can’t keep the conversation going on social. The biggest post-conference mistake you can make is letting too much time pass before reconnecting with someone you met at the conference. Ensure you aren’t unforgettable in the mind of that person by connecting almost immediately after the event, even if it is just by sending a quick note via email or perhaps by adding them to your social networks and connecting on there. Also, don’t forget to grab all the business cards you collected during the event and follow up with them on social media.
- Get your action items scheduled.
Remember all those great ideas you came up with while sitting in a session? Don’t let them go to waste. Schedule all action items, whether it’s meeting for coffee with a contact or writing that business proposal, and put them on your calendar. Send all those business emails you mentally drafted while everything is still fresh in your mind. The post-conference glow is a real thing, so use it to your advantage.
- Share the knowledge with others.
All the information or inspiration you gained should not be contained to yourself. The best part of post-conference follow-up should be sharing with your colleagues and friends all that you gained from attending the event. Whether you schedule a meeting to discuss with a group of team members or decide to write about your experience, share what was most valuable to you and put into use what you learned.
What do you do post-conference to keep momentum?
Getting ready to attend an event? Download the ultimate Conference Attendance Checklist to walk you through maximizing the experience.