5 Ways to Have a More Productive Conference

October 10 2013

cloudcma productive conferenceHeading to a conference, convention, or expo this month? With so many real estate events on the calendar, chances are you've got one coming up. Before attending your next event, try doing a little strategizing to make sure you get the most out of your experience. Your time is valuable and with jam-packed event schedules, a little preparation goes a long way! Below are five ways to ensure that your event is a productive one.

1. Plan your day. The plan doesn't have to be detailed down to the minute, but do take some time to look over the event calendar and choose what you'd like to see, attend, participate in, etc. Vet the speakers, break out sessions, and vendors before arriving at the conference. What looks interesting? Make a point to explore that at the event. Doing this alone is ideal since you'll be less likely to shift your plan or make adjustments for other attendees. Don't compromise on why you want to attend. It's your conference, so get what you want out of it!

2. Set goals. Before your next event, set a few goals and acknowledge what your intentions are. Do you want to learn something new? Network with colleagues? Look for products or services to grow your business? Thinking about these things and setting goals ahead of time is a proactive way to make your event a productive use of time. To take it a step further, think about how you want to feel at the event and make that a goal, too. How do you want to feel at the end of the event? By setting goals, you'll be better able to stay focused and reap the maximum benefit. Your goals may be different than someone else's and that's okay. Every attendee has his or her own agenda, but ultimately you are responsible for your experience.

3. Travel prepared. Whether your conference is close to home or you have to take a plane to a train to a bus to a rental car - travel prepared! Visualize yourself at the conference and take note of the things you see yourself needing. A few key items are business cards, mobile devices, chargers, adapters, and snacks. Renting a car? A USB cigarette lighter adapter can help keep your phone juiced up on the road. A microfiber screen cleaner is good to have when you want to share something on your iPad or tablet with the new friend you just made – fingerprints and smudges can be distracting and off-putting. Snacks get a special mention because food is fuel. You'll need high, sustainable energy to thrive during the long days and nights, so bringing a sensible snack will serve you well when energy runs low and food is scarce (or has a ridiculously long line to wait in for)!

4. Pace yourself. You've planned, prepped, and arrived in style! The best is yet to come, so be mindful of your goals and pace yourself. Things move quickly as speakers and sessions are scheduled to the minute and staying on time is a priority for the event host. There are hash tags to follow, pictures to be posted, stories to be shared, and new people to be met – so it can feel hectic at times. But since you're a smart and savvy agent who has spent time preparing, you'll be focused and enjoying the experience – rather than feeling like you missed out on something, which can happen if you fail to prepare.

5. Pay attention. Paying attention to the speakers and presenters is a given, but next time you're at an event, pay attention to your inner voice too. Check in with yourself periodically to take note of what peaks your interest – and what doesn't. How are you feeling as the day progresses? Energized? Excited? Motivated? Exhausted? All of these serve as clues for your next steps – whether they're literally your next steps at the conference or clues for guiding your real estate business in the future. By paying attention to your surroundings, your thoughts, emotions, and behavior, you'll be in the best position to make it a productive conference!

To view the original article, visit the Cloud CMA blogCloud CMA blog.