It's important for conference organizers to do as much as they can to see to it that attendees get the most out of the conference as possible, both experience and content wise. Of course, at the end of the day (and technically at the beginning of each conference day, and actually even upon registering), the attendee must make a list of what they want to achieve and/or take away from the conference, and be intentional about accomplishing such. So, before you even scout out and register for your next conference, write down the things you are looking to gain from a conference; what are your personal and/or business goals? How do you desire to build, grow, and accelerate in those areas?
Next, make sure the conference you register for offers and lines up with those things on your list. And if a conference sounds really appealing to you, yet you're still not quite sure if it's a good fit for you, don't hesitate to, first, check the FAQ page that should appear on the conference website, and, second, email or even phone the conference organizer(s) if such contact information is provided.
Getting to know, connect, and network with other attendees and presenters prior to attending the conference is an excellent way to make the most out of your conference experience. The “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” Conference enables attendees and presenters to network and build relationships with one another prior to the conference. Immediately when an attendee registers, they are invited to join the Path To Publishing private Facebook group. That way, when attendees, aka #Pathfinders, arrive at the conference, they recognize some of the other attendees and they, too, are recognizable to others.
Even though there may be people you meet online that you want to connect with in person at the conference, be open to meeting new people. Perhaps you hooked up with some individuals at previous conferences and you’ve been like peas in a pod. Don’t be afraid of hopping out the pod. Get to know and connect with people that are a different age, sex, size, and race than you. If you’re black, go sit with the table full of white people. The table with Latinos, Asians, etc. The "Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business" Conference hosts attendees and presenters from all walks of life, backgrounds, races, nationalities, sexes, etc. Be open to learn about others and their business culture. But more importantly, think outside of yourself so that you don’t end up by yourself.
For some of you, there may be a time zone difference and/or you may be suffering from jet lag. Heck, for some of you the excitement of attending the conference may have kept you up all night, so you may be feeling tired. Try your best not to go back to your hotel room and sleep during the conference breaks and sanctioned events, as these are prime opportunities to network and even meet new people outside of the conference attendees, as some of the sanctioned events are free and open to the public, inviting an entire new group of individuals to connect with.
Be present during the conference sessions. Don't spend your time doing live videos of the presentations on social media. As a matter of fact, refrain from recording any of the sessions on cell phones, tablets, etc., More than likely, everyone has made a financial investment and sacrifice to receive the information that is being delivered, so don't share it so freely to the public. In addition, refrain from snap, snap, snapping away at the slides/PowerPoint during the presenter's entire session. For one, it's a huge distraction for the presenter when everyone's face is hidden behind their cell phone, and there are clicking noises and flashes flashing. Secondly, that's someone's intellectual property you are snapping. It may be part of a digital product they offer. So instead of taking the liberty to capture all their intellectual property with your camera, giving you the ability to share and repost at your leisure, ask them if they would be willing to provide you with a copy of the slides, either for free or for a fee.
By all means, conference organizers want you to have photo and video opportunities, so locate their step and repeat banner and any promo displays, take selfies, take pics with and of other attendees, post pics on your social media platforms, and go live with your own testimonial and experiences during breakfast, the breaks, lunch, and any sanctioned events. Be sure to read the conference program or ask the organizer if there is a specific hashtag to use when posting on social media. For example, the Path To Publishing "Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business" Conference has used #PTPCON18, #PTPCON19, and is now using #PTPCON20 on all the social media platforms.
Again, and most importantly, be clear about what you want to take away from the conference, and then be intentional about taking it. If something you wanted information on wasn’t touched upon during the presentations, then take advantage of the Q&A sessions to ask. Do not walk away from any conference without getting the answers and information you came to receive.
And last, but definitely not least: Have fun!