The advertising industry is constantly evolving, and keeping up with the current trends and ideas is essential to ensuring success. Conferences are a great way to boost your career with networking and educational opportunities. Here’s a few tips for making the most out of your conference experience:

 

  • Make your milestone. With many great conferences out there, it’s best to start with keeping your main goal top of mind. Do you want to learn about branding? Expand your knowledge of social media? Once you pick your goal, you’ll be able to better determine what conference is the best for you. Plus, once you’re at the conference you’ll be able to get the most out of when you have your goals in mind. 12973505_1140535825991466_8379395393962043636_o12983341_10153481789390978_5481332075107380396_o
  • Make a plan. Find out who is speaking and which presentations sound most interesting and relevant to your work. If you come prepared with a little background knowledge prior to the presentation, you’ll be able to form more intelligent questions on the spot, and therefore gain more valuable insights overall. If you’re going with co-workers, find some time to get together beforehand to see how you can support each other, and tag team who will go to what speakers to get the most out of the conference.
  • Make mental space. Don’t try to form too many judgements before listening to a speaker’s presentation. It’s easy to think “I’ve heard this before” or “this doesn’t apply to what I do,” but more often than not, you’ll learn something new from each presentation you give your attention to. IMG_5910
  • Make friends. It might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget to take advantage of networking in the midst of the conference chaos. Bring business cards. Introduce yourself to other attendees. Ask questions. Add people you met on LinkedIn. Follow up in person or via email with the speakers you enjoyed. Continue the conversation with your coworkers and contacts within the industry.
  • Make it happen. All the things you and your team learned should be shared with the rest of your company. Create a presentation, write a blog post, or even just talk about it. Sharing those learnings will remind you of why you were at the conference, and solidify the lessons you took away so you can start applying them in your everyday work life. 

 

Now that you’ve got a few tips under your belt, get going on finding the right conference for your continuing education. Check out this list of the 45 Best Conferences to Attend in 2016 – and who knows, maybe you’ll meet your next boss at happy hour.  

 

Written by: Annatova Goodman, Stephanie Howe, and Jessica Landre from the Brand Management Department