Article, Advice for people attending conferences

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Advice for People Attending Conferences

Posted: 17 Sep 2008 09:18 PM PDT

At the Keynote Conferences can be amazing. They give you insight into a marketplace. They give you access to people who are thinkers and doers. They are often just the thing to revitalize your interest in something that matters to you. Attending two conferences in 2006 changed my life dramatically. And the cascade effect from being involved in the space continues to elevate my love for events.

I found some posts from myself and others that will help you prepare for conferences. But before I go into that, I wanted to share a little about how I came by some of this advice. Not only do I attend many conferences in a year, I’ve been working in the space for over 2 years already, myself.
My Background in Events

I’ve worked with some truly legendary conference people. Jeff Pulver knew the magic formula for a powerful community event that worked on several levels. I learned tons from him and Jason Chudnofsky while running the Video on the Net event.

I also work with Christopher S. Penn and the astounding Whitney Hoffman on the PodCamp events that we co-founded. We learn something new from every camp, even when we’re not organizing them. (By “we,” I mostly mean Chris and Whit.)

My current business partners, Stephen Saber, Nick Saber, and the rest of the folks at CrossTech Media have given me even more perspective, different models, and a whole new view on how things are evolving. Things like “big is out; small and meaningful is in.” We have an amazing show with David Meerman Scott, Paul Gillin and some incredible speakers and exhibitors at the New Marketing Summit this October, and I’m really proud of that event.
Observations About Attendees at Events

This year, at the amazing SNCR event in the Sonoma Valley, David Alston from Radian6 pointed something out. There were two conference experiences happening in the same room. Even though the event organizers made every effort to have attendees feel connected and included, half the room (maybe less) were active on Twitter, and having an entirely larger conversation, while the other half wasn’t even aware of all the activity.

It seems to me that most events now almost need to anticipate having a hash tag (something like #nms for New Marketing Summit), and an active Twitter back channel.

Another observation: the people who prepare to attend an event come away with a much different experience than those who just show up. This becomes very important, because it turns out that you, as a prospective attendee at an event, might find a completely different end result, with only a little bit of consideration and just a hair of pre-planning.

On the eve of going out to MANY events over the next 40 days or so, I wanted to compile some of the best advice I’ve received or written about with regards to how YOU can get more out of conferences.
Advice for People Attending Conferences

Things I do BEFORE a VON Conference - Jeff Pulver.

Getting More out of Your Speaking Opportunities - Jeff Pulver

Preparing for PodCamp DC with the Jeff Pulver Method - Christopher S. Penn

Be Sexier in Person - Me.

10 Ways to Make Your Next Conference Better - Me.

Using Social Media to Meet People - Me. ( Picture look familiar?)
What’s Your Advice?

What would you add to the list? How else can we prepare? What is your pre-event and post-event ritual?



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