Select a path . but not in permanent ink. The advice you’ll find online on how to choose conference sessions and activities is all over the map, ranging from “hook everything,” to “go to the plenary lecture,” and “coffee breaks, receptions, and group meals,” to “plan all time aside in advance,” to “provide eating, liquid, and you will an excellent guide.”
Conference organizers often schedule some open go out during meeting days. societal communications (impromptu conversations, calls home). Write your session selections from inside the pencil (either literally or metaphorically), so that you don’t feel honor bound to attend everything.
Many conferences have downloadable mobile apps that you need to select sessions and create a custom schedule. That way, you don’t have to wade through a lot of information to see where you are going next. A longstanding part of my conference prep, even today, is to create an analog version of my custom schedule on scrap paper. I write the conference Wi-Fi code, session start times, and the names and locations of events. My handwritten schedule doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection, is easy to adjust, and is the fastest way I know of to see where I’m headed next. OK, so I’m a Luddite. Don’t me about this, though: The real takeaway here is to use whatever planning tools work best for you.
Do some pre-networking. I don’t mean the oily schmoozing that many people think of when they hear the word “networking.” And I don’t mean re-creating my 1998 rain of business cards over Vancouver. Rather, scan the program for familiar names, look at an enthusiastic attendee list, or ask people in your some companies if they are attending.
Then, based on your goals for the conference, ask to meet up with a select few. ahead of time to catch up with colleagues whom you haven’t seen in a while; connect to people whose work you have read and want to explore; or offer to be a conference pal for an acquaintance you hope to get to know. It can be this easy to set up:
The key terms here: select few. More than an excellent around three-date appointment, you are getting a great deal more of 30-second conversations which have five individuals than you’ll racing as a consequence of 10-moment chats with 15.