Be Prepared for Your Next Conference

Posted April 27, 2015 by Swim Creative Staff

Heading to a conference soon? Maybe the Zenith Social Media Conference held right here in downtown Duluth in two days?

Well, lucky you! Conferences are not only an amazing learning tool, they’re also an opportunity to network with professionals outside of your market and gain another perspective on your industry.

We did some research and have a few things to share that may help you prepare for your next conference.

TIP #1: What to wear?

Professional attire is always the way to go. Period.

TIP #2: What’s in the bag?

  • Notebook + pen
  • Phone
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Business cards
  • Water bottle + snacks
  • Proof that you’re of legal age. Some conferences host a social hour at the end of the day.

TIP #3: Master the multi-tasking

Network. Use this time to say hello to former classmates and introduce yourself to others in your industry. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a small world after all.

Tweet. Twitter is HUGE for all types of events, especially conferences, and there’s usually a designated hashtag. Spend a few minutes ahead of time and create a list of all the speakers and brands presenting and attending. Then, use a dashboard like Tweetdeck to follow along (in real time) and engage as much as possible.

Facebook. Throw in a post once or twice each day to show you know more than 140 character one-liners. Facebook is great for photos + summaries of sessions/days.

Curate. Don’t stress about being the sharer of everything. Strike up conversations with the other attendees and speakers online. Use the “share” or “retweet” buttons and give your fingers a break.

Blog. Write a recap of each session, or each day, and give a summary of what you learned with a few key takeaways. This is useful to the rest of your team, your customers and those who weren’t able to make the conference or specific session.

Video. Put your smartphone to use and share quick vlogs or pull speakers aside and interview them. We’d recommend keeping it to three questions, because let’s be real, you’re not the only one dying to get an autograph. We recommend YouTube and Periscope.

TIP #4: Always be taking notes

Acronyms. A few popular ones below, but you can access the full list here.

  • SM = Social Media
  • CMGR = Community Manager
  • UGC = User-generated content
  • FTW = For the win!

Resources. Speakers will usually provide a handful of resources and you may not have enough time to double check spelling to be confident in sharing online. It’s easier to note resources and follow later.

Social Media. Share everything you learn with your followers, giving credit where credit is due. Social Media is the ultimate resource for hosting your knowledge. Return a few days after the conference to recap your notes as well as other attendees’, searching by hashtag and username.

Sample Tweet:

“Session 1 – @swimcreative: Use these tips to prepare for your next conference. #advertising #planning”

Whether you’re a rookie or hall-of-famer, we’d love to hear how you prepare for conferences. Comment below or send us a note at

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