I can almost hear the melody in my head… “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.” Literally – my bags are in the cube I’ve borrowed in our Rochester office, as I’m heading out today to take in the member leader events this weekend in Indianapolis in advance of WCQI. Paul Borowski shared Scott Rutherford’s post with his survivor guide for the conference. I’d like to share two more tips.
The first one builds on Scott’s first tip, on sitting with folks you don’t know at lunch: Sit with folks you don’t know ANYWHERE YOU CAN. At this point, this is not easy for me. My last year on the board, I challenged some of my friends to see how many business cards they could collect during the networking time before the banquet on Tuesday night. I won hands down. It was really a great opportunity to get different perspectives – I literally met folks from around the globe. Working the room any time you can is a great way to meet new people and expand your horizons.
Second, while this may seem obvious, don’t go to sessions about stuff you already know. Testimony that this is not obvious to everyone – occasionally I’ve heard comments to the effect of “I went to session ABC, but I didn’t learn anything.” If you go to a session marked beginner that is geared for folks who do what you do, and you’ve been doing it for a long time, it is highly likely that you will already know the content. I was amazed how much I started to learn when I started to go to sessions about the things I don’t know. Go to presentations from other industries and look at how you can apply their lessons learned to your job. Learn about a new technique you’ve never heard of. Challenge yourself to learn about something new – I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you can learn in one conference.
What are your tips for the conference? I look forward to seeing you there!