How to Prepare for a Conference

Attending conferences is one of the ways I enjoy networking the most. Conferences can be fun, a great way to expand your professional network, and learn from experts in the industry. Throughout my college career, I made it my goal to attend at least one conference a year and the experience was definitely worth it. 

The last conference I attended was the Synergy Global Forum at Madison Square Garden in NYC and it was great! I met lots of people who were there from startups and in the digital media and marketing space from all over the world and the selection of speakers included Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuck, and the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneurship magazine, Jason Feifer. 

This year, I have quite a few conferences I want to attend and one of them, of course, includes Her Conference in NYC this July. And for those of you who might be attending Her Conference or conferences alike this year to grow your own professional perspective and network, I figured I would compile a post and talk about how to prepare for one, what to pack, and how to get yourself ready to network with others.

1. The Essentials

Packing a cute medium sized tote or small backpack with items like your laptop, tablet, the required charging equipment, a comb or small brush, a small makeup bag, business cards, some snacks, a notebook and pen, and of course a comfortable pair of backup shoes will prepare you for anything you might need while you’re attending the conference!

2. Your Online Presence 

One of the things most people don’t think about when they prep for attending a networking event is what would happen if you and someone you network with hit it off. The last thing you want to say is “Check out my blog when it’s redesigned in a few weeks.” So avoid that awkward unprepared feeling and get your social media, blog, or website prepped months in advance so you can tell anyone you meet to check you out online and know you’re putting your best foot forward! 

3. Networking and Working the Room

Often conferences have structured networking breaks in between speakers and panelists so that you’re able to make the most out of attending! After going to several conferences, the best piece of advice I can give to anyone is to learn how to work the room. Talk to absolutely everyone you’d like to speak to. Small talk by the breakfast table, speak to someone in the bathroom (YES WAITING IN LINE could be your opportunity to talk to some great people), don’t be afraid to join a group of people already speaking, and don’t stick to just one side of the room - work the room and talk to everyone you possibly can!

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