Work conferences can be blurs of activity that are quickly over. How do you make the most of the opportunities they offer? If 2019 holds professional travel for you, we have three tips to maximize your time:
Plan ahead. Reach out to others that will be in attendance and make plans to connect. Conferences are excellent opportunities to connect one-on-one and in groups, but in order to make the most of your time at a conference, you should do some advance planning. In your preparations, don’t forget to pack plenty of business cards and brush up on your elevator pitch.
Engage. It can be hard to take time away from the office and you may be tempted to check your email every break between sessions. Resist the urge. You will not learn all you can, meet valuable connections, or enjoy yourself if you’re glued to your phone. If you must tend to things in the office, set one or two hours in the morning or evening when you can spend some focused time on email and checking in by phone. This allows you to get the most done with focused time and assures those back in the office that they can reach you at an appointed time.
Explore. While conferences are obvious times to connect with those you know, don’t forget about the opportunity to form new connections and experiences. Strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to you. Attend a session outside your regular focus. You never know what will come of it!
If you will be at The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities’ (ACCU) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (Feb 1–4); The National Assn. of Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NAICU) annual meeting (Feb 3–6); or the American Council on Education’s (ACE) meeting in Philadelphia (March 9–12), please plan to connect with the Hyatt-Fennell team. Drop us a line to know you’ll be there.