The single most important thing that a lady can do to benefit from a conference is to arrive prepared. And being prepared is a multifaceted concept. Here is the Travelle breakdown of the best ways to prepare for a conference and make the most out of a great opportunity away from the office.
Spontaneity is sexy, but not when it comes to conferences. You are attending for a reason. Nothing needs to be set in stone, but taking a moment to identify what it is that you intend to get out of this experience will help guide your decisions and schedule making throughout the event.
Conference On Fleek
Have all your materials ready. This means everything from extra business cards to relevant, interesting inquiries for discussions after presentations. Have your elevator pitch ready and also an idea of those people who you want to network with. Build individual profiles of these people by looking at their Linkedin's and other social media accounts. This is a great way to know what to bring up and how to present yourself in the limited time you have for interaction. These little acts of preparation will amount to a much bigger payoff when you are able to have flawless conversation with the people who will have the greatest benefit to you!
The Great Presenter
If you are going to be the one presenting, it should mean that you've given your presentation roughly a thousand times to yourself in the mirror and know which language works best for the kind of audience you are addressing. Consider the kinds of questions you'll have to answer and maybe some rebuttals to any potential criticism. Have everything settled because you really don't want to be that woman who's stumbling over words or apologizing because you brought slides of your vacation instead of the presentation. You are a fierce and knowledgeable expert in your field so show everybody how it's done!
Do a thorough run through of all your electronics and charging devices. In the flurry of preparing your materials it can be all too easy to leave your phone charger behind. Having a physical list will allow you to make 100% sure that you are not going to run out of battery half way through your big moment.
Flex the Right Way
Be prepared, but be flexible. Be the yogi of conference goers. Build some "random time" space into your schedule so you can be open to a few impromptu discussions or networking opportunities. Going with the flow doesn't mean you're not prepared. It means you are adaptable--a skill that's good in any situation.
Follow Up Plan
A great way to round out your preparation is to have a follow up plan. Sort out your cards and the connections you've made. Make sure to send an email no more than a week after the conference and include some of the things you talked about or something new you think the person would find interesting. If your line of business calls for it, don't hesitate to send an actual letter on some quality stationery. It's a great way to stand out from the crowd and show that you are a thoughtful individual.
Now, go crush it!
Want more advice? Learn how to travel with your boss!