Conference Best Practices

The final key in getting and communicating the value of any conference or event you attend is, of course, in the follow up. Follow up seems like an obvious piece of the puzzle, but because you’ve been out of the office for a couple of days, and there are demands on your time from the moment you land, it’s actually fairly easy for it to slip from the front of your mind to the back burner. 

It’s essential not to let that happen, so that you don’t lose all of the value that you’ve gained from preparation and engaging in the conference. 

As with preparation and engagement, there are a number of different ways to follow up after (and even while you’re still at) an event, culminating with a review for your colleagues and firm decision makers. The reason I suggest that the follow up end with the review is two-fold – one, when you do all of the other follow-up first, all of the conference value will be very fresh in your mind, and you’ll have your key points handy to share with them right away.

And two, implementing this follow up will hopefully have them following along and result in some further engagement, which will help you to demonstrate additional value even more easily during the review meeting. 


Continue Reading Communicating Conference Attendance Value: Follow Up

Last week, we started talking about how to get the most value out of a conference or event that you’re attending, and then communicate that value back to those at your office. Preparation before the event is key, but the next piece of the puzzle if about engaging at the conference itself. 

This is something that we’ve talked about here at Zen before. in part, it’s about putting into place the preparation that you started before you left for the conference. 

Attend all of the Sessions You’ve Identified in Your Review

Prior to the event, you’ve reviewed the agenda and identified the sessions that will have value for you, your firm and your colleagues. Now is the time to not only get to those sessions, but also to stay engaged in them – take notes, live tweet, write blog recaps, ask questions – whatever will keep you most invested in each individual session so that you stay focused on the takeaways is the key here.

Don’t assume that you’ll just remember the highlights either – use whatever notes system works best for you to get your impressions of the presentation or discussion down as it’s happening. 


Continue Reading Communicating Conference Attendance Value: Engage

As we lead up to the Legal Marketing Association‘s Annual Conference, the importance of communicating the value of attending any conference to those back in the office has been in the forefront of my mind. The LMA conference is always packed to the gills with scheduled events, because marketers have to be able to prove to the decision makers that there is value to be gotten from attending. 

Even though the ILN has more opportunities for organic networking at our conferences, there is still a burden on our attendees to show their partners that this is not a boondoggle. 

No matter which conferences or events we’re attending this year, there are some ways that we can get out ahead of the inevitable question "Is your attendance at that event really worth it?"

I’m going to break this up into three posts, looking at different ways to address this question. The keys are to Prepare, Engage and Follow Up, and today, we’ll focus on preparation. 

We all love the idea that we can just show up somewhere without preparation, and it will be successful – we’ll meet all the right people, new business will flow our way, and we’ll run out of business cards on the first day because people are lining up to meet us.


Continue Reading Communicating Conference Attendance Value: Preparation

We’ve been full of networking tips here at Zen lately with the ILN’s European Regional Meeting happening last week. It’s only fitting that I sum that up with some post-conference networking suggestions on this week’s Two for Tuesdays!

Tip One: Connect & Share

Any time you leave a conference, whether it’s an ILN conference or not, it’s hard to keep the momentum going as you face a mountain of work and personal responsibilities. It seems to get more and more difficult to step away from the office these days – I know I’m always trying to prepare to leave and spending time catching up when I return, even when I’m checking in and working the entire time I’m away!

But forgetting to do a few simple things after a conference can really take away from all of the headway you’ve made in networking. So add in these few things to your to-do list today (force yourself to do one each day, rather than trying to do them all at once!) and it will make a big difference in your efforts.


Continue Reading Two for Tuesdays: Post-Conference Networking