So you’re attending a conference! Whether faith-based, work-related or for your own personal development, conferences can be a blast, incredibly nerve-wracking and everything inbetween. When I was prepping to attend my last one, I thought it would be fun to share with you my tips for
preparing for a conference.
1. Find out as many details as possible about the event.
When you feel prepared, your day will go smoother and you will feel more confident, leaving you to focus on the content and the people.
- the location (and plan your route)
- where to park (do you need parking money?)
- when the doors open
- what, if any, refreshments are offered
- lunch: do you need to order one, bring one, or find a place to go out?
- who will be there. Are there people you would like to meet or network with? Consider introducing yourself to them virtually ahead of time.
My tips for prepping the night before also apply.
2. Plan your ensemble.
When preparing for a conference, consider how you can use the event as an opportunity to express your personality and elevate your image. If there will be a lot of mingling or you’ll be leading a class or taking the stage, you want to bring your A game.
If you’re a presenter, key note speaker or break-out session leader, you might want to work with me.
- choose an outfit that will help you stand out in a sea of gray, black and white (especially if the event is more professional)
- dress in layers in case of temperature changes
- make comfort a priority, whether you wear your favorite boots instead of heels or bring a scarf to keep cozy. I recommend against wearing a brand new outfit unless you’re sure it fits well and won’t make you squirm.
- wear a conversation piece like a funky scarf, a handmade pin or a fun hair accessory (assuming you actually want to talk to people at the event)
- wear a little makeup, even if you usually don’t, to give a more polished appearance. Mascara, blush and lip color go a long way.
3. Pack your bag.
I like to include…
- a pocket pack of tissues (for watery eyes or the tear-jerking story)
- mints (for myself and to share)
- a notebook
- a snack
- a pouch with my powder compact, lipstick, floss, etc.)
- business cards (because every meeting is a networking meeting)
4. Pay attention to the details.
- Make sure your pen and notebook are your best
- Clean your glasses beforehand
- Take care with your hair and makeup
- Check that your shoes and bag are in top-notch shape
- Take your phone fully charged
- Clean out and/or wash your car if you’ll be riding with someone or might be driving a group to lunch (I’ve messed this one up more than once)
5. Decide to be fully present at the conference.
In 2014, I was hem-hawing about attending a retreat and felt God nudging me to “just show up.”
For me, that meant showing up–fully present and fully authentic. To not just go through the motions but SHOW UP.
It also meant going and enjoying the event instead of obsessing about the things I saw that weren’t perfect (I tend to judge, remember?), about what people thought of me or about who I should be talking to.
So as much as I preach about being strategic, there is also a time to just soak in an event and be in the moment.
Hopefully these tips for preparing for a conference will help you fully engage more and enjoy the day!
What tips would you add? Comment or visit the Facebook page.
I’d be ever so grateful if you pinned and shared!