You know what’s great? Conferences. You know what’s not so great? Going back to work after conferences.
You get what we mean, right? You head back into the office topped up to the brim with inspiration and ready to take on the world. But, before you’ve finished your first brew of the day you’ve got a load of unread emails to deal with, a bunch of calls to return and your bubble has been well and truly burst.
But, it doesn’t have to be like this! We’ve got some ideas to help keep your creative juices flowing and your spirits riding high. (Also, don’t forget we also have a bunch for getting the most out of actually being at a conference, so check those out as well).
Block out time for reviewing and following up
Before you even head out to the conference, set aside an afternoon in your diary for one of your first days back purely for reviewing notes and sending follow ups. This means you’ll actually do it!
Reach out to your new connections as soon as you can
You’ve probably met a bunch of great new contacts at the conference, so strike while the iron is still hot and find them on social media! Follow them on Twitter and/or connect with them on LinkedIn – far better to do this while they’re fresh in your head (and while you’re fresh in theirs) than to leave it six months and then fail miserably when trying to remember that person who said that thing.
Share your learning with your colleagues
Getting to attend a conference is a privilege, especially if you’re the only person from your team there. So, don’t be a dick and keep all that learning to yourself; share the love with your colleagues and present back your key takeaways. Not only will your colleagues appreciate you thinking of them, doing this will also show that you are a Good Conference Attendee and will likely be allowed to attend more in the future.
This is another thing to block out in your diary ahead of time so you actually get it done – trust me, it’s one of the best things you can do. You’ll take better notes on the day and you’ll be more focused when reviewing your notes afterwards.
Share you learning with the wider world
Another great way to consolidate your learning at a conference is to blog your key takeaways or favourite bits and share it with the world. Not got a blog? Write up a post for LinkedIn Pulse. And, be sure to use the conference hashtag when sharing your blog on social media – your fellow delegates will really appreciate it.
Fill in any evaluation forms
As someone who used to be a conference co-chair, I can confidently say evaluation forms are massively important and really help shape future events (as well as being useful for speakers too). As such, fill them in!
Think longer term
Go back into your diary and put something in there for around 4-6 months’ time. What am I putting in there, you might ask…a prompt to check what progress you’re making! Chances are you’ll have at least one idea to try off the back of the conference, but it’s also pretty easy to forget to actually give it a go. Cue this helpful prompt you’re putting in your calendar for a few months’ time to give you that prod you’ll probably need.
One last thing, say thanks! Either a nice tweet to the event’s hashtag, or an email to the organisers – or both! – will ensure you a good karma score and a warm fuzzy feeling inside.