Conference Success: Tips for Getting the Most Out of the WiM SUMMIT 2023


Conference Success: Tips for Getting the Most Out of the WiM SUMMIT 2023

Attending a conference can be an exciting opportunity to expand your knowledge, network with industry experts, and forge valuable connections. Whether you're a seasoned conference-goer or a first timer, several strategies can ensure you make the most of this valuable opportunity.  With the WiM SUMMIT 2023 just around the corner, taking place September 25 – 27 in San Diego, CA, we decided to round up our expert tips for maximizing your in-person or virtual conference experience.

1. Set Clear Objectives:

Define your objectives for attending the conference. Are you looking to learn about the latest industry trends, network with potential collaborators, or gain insights into a specific topic? Having clear goals will help you stay focused and make informed choices about which sessions to attend and who to connect with.

2. Plan Ahead:

Before you even step foot into the conference venue or log on virtually, take the time to plan your itinerary. Review the conference schedule, identify sessions, workshops, and speakers that align with your interests and professional goals. Create a personalized schedule that ensures you make the most of your time and don't miss out on any must-attend events.

 3. Engage in Pre-Conference Networking:

Many conferences have dedicated apps or online platforms where attendees can connect before the event. Start networking early by reaching out to other attendees, speakers, and exhibitors. Initiating conversations before the conference begins can help break the ice and make in-person networking and virtual contributing more comfortable.

4. Be Open to New Experiences:

While it's important to stick to your plan, don't be afraid to deviate from it if an unexpected opportunity arises. Spontaneous conversations or impromptu sessions can lead to valuable insights and connections you might not have anticipated.

5. Actively Participate:

Engage actively in sessions and workshops. Take notes, ask questions, and participate in discussions. Be particularly conscious of this with virtual attendance. It’s easy to leave your screen off and multitask but make the effort to show your face and speak up when the opportunity arises. Engaging with speakers and fellow attendees not only enhances your learning but also increases your visibility and chances of forming meaningful connections.

6. Practice Effective Networking:

Networking is one of the primary reasons people attend conferences. Approach networking with authenticity and a genuine interest in others. Prepare a brief introduction that highlights your professional background and objectives. This will set you up for success when meeting in-person or in an online breakout room. Don't forget to exchange contact information or connect on professional networking platforms.

7. Attend Social Events:

Many conferences include social events like receptions, dinners, or casual gatherings for in-person attendees. These provide informal settings to connect with others and build more personal relationships. Remember that these events are not just about business; they're also about building rapport and finding common ground.

8. Take Advantage of Breaks:

For in-person attendees, breaks between sessions are golden opportunities for networking. Use these moments to strike up conversations with fellow attendees. Avoid staying glued to your phone; instead, make an effort to connect with those around you. If you’re attending virtually, why not take the time between sessions to pop on a call with someone who was in a recent session with you? Reach out via the chat before the call ends or through the conference app. You can connect over the information just learned and share your takeaways and insights.

9. Follow Up Post-Conference:

Your conference experience doesn't end when the event concludes. Follow up with the connections you made, whether through email, LinkedIn, or other professional platforms. Express gratitude for the conversation and find ways to continue the dialogue or collaboration.

10. Reflect and Implement:

After the conference, take time to reflect on what you've learned and the connections you've made. Consider how you can apply these insights to your work or professional development. Implementing what you've gained from the conference is key to deriving long-term benefits.

Attending a conference is an investment in your professional growth and network. By planning ahead, setting clear objectives, actively participating, and engaging in effective networking, you can maximize your conference experience. Remember that conferences are not just about the content presented; they're also about the connections you form and the conversations you have. Approach each conference with an open mind and a willingness to learn, and you'll come away with new knowledge, valuable connections, and a renewed sense of inspiration.