Its summer time and there is a conference on every street corner. Conferences are mighty tools for growth. However, they can also be a waste of time and money. And I don’t know about you, but time and money aren’t growing in my backyard. If you plan on going to a conference this year, please consider these 6 suggestions to make it a memorable experience:
Go with someone – If possible, don’t bring the fire home alone. Bring someone that experienced the heat himself or herself. This person can help you fan the flame back home in prayer that what was “lit” will catch fire else where. When you attend conferences alone, the experience is often hard to explain and the concepts are often hard to practice. Therefore, the more members you can take from your team the longer the impact will be and the learning curve will shorten for implementing new principles will be less.
Debrief– Learning from a conference is often like drinking from a waterfall. Simply put, there is too much to swallow. However, I believe you will retain much more if you make it a priority to debrief and go over what you have learned. Once again, doing this in community is even better. Making audio memoirs, writing a summary on your blog, or keeping a journal are other helpful ways you can debrief.
Take notes– I’m often astonished at the lack of note taking in conferences. I am personally dumfounded on how a person can pay hundreds of dollars for registration and not attempt to take all the knowledge home. It is often said, “the weakest ink is better than the strongest mind.” Do yourself a favor and take notes. The process itself will help you retain information better.
Get rest– Often, conferences schedule breaks and free time for the convenience of the attendees. Please take advantage of these opportunities. Take a break and seek rejuvenation. Refrain from doing something stressful that has absolutely nothing to do with the conference. The reason I say this is because, you should try your best to make as many sessions as possible. Conferences are phenomenal opportunities to grow. Don’t tire yourself out on a shopping spree and miss the best lecture of the night!
Meet someone new– Be sure to network and find people who can encourage, equip, and share with you. Conferences are great places to meet people who specialize in your field or area of interest. Seek mutual friendships. Don’t just look for someone who can serve you. See if there is someone struggling in an area where you can serve them! Make sure you exchange information and immediately follow up.
Create action steps– Knowledge without application is a waste of time. What did you learn? Where were you challenged? What books were recommended? What process would I like to incorporate in my daily routine? Come home with a list of actions that need to happen before the next conference.
What conferences do you plan to attend this year? What additional suggestions do you have to get the most out of conference?
For God’s Glory,