Employer Branding

6 Tips to Getting the Most Out of a Conference SHRM 2017 Edition

This post is sponsored by Perengo – A Programmatic Recruitment Platform. Be sure to connect with their Director of Sales at the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference (June 18-20). Learn how programmatic job ads can produce results for your organization.

Getting the most out of a conference requires just the right balance of planning and organization. With today’s conferences boasting jam-packed speaker lineups and whirlwind networking schedules, it’s best not to leave success up to chance.

The upcoming SHRM 2017 conference offers plenty of opportunities to make valuable connections, gain new leads or partnerships, and learn about the top HR trends. Our first post discussed the ways you can rock your conference preparation – but what happens on the big day and the week after?

Let’s look at 6 helpful tips for conquering the conference and follow-up.

1. Review goals and prep your team

It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of a conference and forget why you’re there in the first place: to achieve the goals you have set for your company. If you’re traveling to the conference with a team, you already have strength in numbers. Gather one last time in the days leading up to the conference to review strategies and delegate tasks based on everyone’s unique abilities.

A well-prepped team will also be more adept at managing inevitable distractions. It may be worthwhile to keep the 80/20 rule in mind, which states that approximately 80% of your results come from just 20% of your efforts. Be sure to direct those efforts wisely!

2. Get in the networking mindset

Many seasoned conference attendees would agree: the most important benefit of attending a major industry event is the unparalleled networking. Not a networking pro? Don’t sweat it – you’re not alone. If schmoozing is not appealing, try to frame it in a way that works for you. Listen more and talk less; remain genuinely interested in the wants and needs of anyone you come in contact with. You might be surprised about where curiosity takes you.

3. Stay organized and take notes

You will likely amass quite the collection of business cards over the course of several days. While it’s tempting to assume you’ll remember each and every interaction, you are better off coming up with a method of on-the-go organization. Jot down key information about each contact as soon as possible after your meeting. Include what you discussed, whether or not there is potential for collaboration, and maybe even a suggestion for how to follow-up. Active note taking throughout the event will cut your post-conference work in half.

4. Make yourself visible online

The digital sphere during a conference is buzzing with conversation. Be sure to tag your social media posts with the designated conference hashtag – like #SHRM 2017 – and offer your own perspective online. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great tools for gaining visibility in front of an interested and engaged audience. Being active online also puts you in an approachable position for potential customers.

5. Take care of yourself

A multi-day conference is like a marathon, not a sprint. Avoid burning out on the first day by taking good care of yourself. Pause for breaks when you need them, and don’t beat yourself up for missing a presentation or veering from your original schedule. Plan mealtimes into your day instead of grabbing an empty calorie muffin. Reach for green tea in place of that third cup of coffee. Go easy on the drinks during networking parties. You will thank yourself on the third day when you’re clear-headed and feeling accomplished.

6. Follow up and offer insights

In the days after the conference, hopefully you will have some time to collect your thoughts and review your notes. Following up is a crucial step in your conference experience, as it’s the opportunity to turn your prospects into bona fide business partners or customers. Send thanks and personal greetings to all your contacts letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them. If you had discussed any next steps in person, bring those up again to get the ball rolling.

Blogging about your experience – or sharing insights you’ve gained from the event – can also be a great way to amplify and spark conversation in the weeks after the conference. Don’t be afraid to pass on your knowledge and get creative with any feedback you receive in return.

We hope these tips have given you some guidance to conquer SHRM 2017 and any major industry conference you’ll attend in the future. Good luck, and see you in New Orleans.

Don’t forget to connect learn about cutting edge recruitment technology at this year’s SHRM 2017 Annual Conference (June 18-20) in New Orleans. Connect with the experts at Perengo and see how programmatic recruitment can increase your quality applicant count significantly

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