Kiley Mutschler, a regional manager with Active Wellness, shares tips on how to make the most of industry events.
In-person events bring a multitude of positives and possibilities. With IHRSA on the horizon and everyone excited to connect with peers and reignite the passion for the industry, it can be easy to overlook some of the other benefits of these in-person events. The opportunity to learn, develop and try new things are endless and should be a top priority, too.
To ensure you are making the most of your time at industry events, here are a few tips to enhance your experience:
Make a Plan
Conferences can feel overwhelming but you do not have to try to cram every session of every day into your schedule. Identify what is most important to you and/or your business at this time and begin to schedule out the sessions that best align. The best way to maximize your time and efforts is to make a plan for your days and stick to it to the best of your ability.
While having a schedule is a good idea, allow yourself time for some “open hours” as well, where you can connect with peers, tour the trade show floor and/or take time for yourself. In order to bring your best and present self, taking time to decompress and recharge is equally important during these events.
Set a Goal
Aside from the obvious fun and infectious energy that in-person events offer, there is also plenty to learn, absorb and explore. Conferences are an opportunity to learn, set a few goals for yourself prior to the event and hold yourself to that. Maybe you have been 10 times before, or maybe this is your first time, but everyone should be able to walk away with at least three new things learned.
Even if you are of the mindset that you have heard or seen it all, change your focus or perspective of the sessions and set a goal that may not be the primary purpose of their presentation. For example, maybe you want to be a better presenter or speaker, and then your focus should shift to pay attention and observe the other speakers. How do they present, was their presentation well laid out, what captivated the audience and what skills can you enhance to become a better speaker? By having your goals established, you will be more focused and attentive to what is happening around you.
Take Time to Reflect
It’s easy to leave these events on a high, reenergized with lots of ideas and excitement as you return to your normal day-to-day operations. Before you lose sight of any of the great concepts, ideas or connections, spend some time to reflect. Write down the key highlights for you and share them with your peers. Think back to your goals and desired outcomes; what did you learn, who was your favorite speaker, how can you apply those ideas or concepts to your business and/or team?
“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on that experience.” – John Dewey