5 ways to get the most out of conferences and events

There’s no shortage of professional development gatherings. Communicators can maximize their out-of-office learning by preparing for the event and its aftermath.

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Beyond the monetary investment, it’s important to invest your time and attention to prepare for the meeting. Being an engaged learner will help you at the event and when you return to work. Think good follow-through and ROI.

Here are five tips to help you make the most of seminars and conferences:

1. Do your homework. If the organization hosting your conference sends a survey in advance of the event, take a few minutes to complete it. This will help organizers and presenters tailor their sessions specifically to the audience. If there’s no advance communication, review the agenda and write down questions you would like answered. Don’t show up at the registration desk five minutes before the event without thinking about what you would like to learn. It’s also your responsibility to remind your team members that you’ll be away from the office. Put a plan in place so things run smoothly in your absence. Also, don’t forget to bring a stack of business cards.

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