How to Win at the Next Conference You Attend!

Conference

I LOVE conferences. For real. I get some sort of weird rush that makes me super hyped and ultra talkative, ready to meet people and network. Basically I’m like a kid in a candy store, except it is learning, and maybe some free candy at the booths…

Top 5 things to do at the next conference you attend:

  1. If you are looking to save money, volunteer. Most conferences will allow a certain number of volunteers to help and attend the conference for free. Depending which conference you’re at, that could mean free snacks and lunches as well!
  2. Go to everything you signed up for. This should be a no-brainer, but I’ve noticed many people skip out on sessions because they get tired or think it may be uninteresting-go anyway. At the very least, maybe you can get in a little nap if it really is that boring.
  3. Schedule in some down time to reflect. Conferences can be a “fire hose drinking fountain” full of useful information and new ideas, but it will never be of any use to you unless you take the time to review, think through it, and plan how you will implement it. This can be so hard when there is a sea of people rushing out the doors for the bathroom or coffee stands, so I suggest scoping out a few spots beforehand so you know where to go for some peace and quiet.
  4. Get free stuff! Sign up at all the booths and have conversations with all of the ones you might even potentially be interested in. This is great practice for networking and will be a skill you can develop through events like these. Conferences are breeding grounds for giveaways, free trinkets and resources that may or may not be of great use–get it anyway (these free things also make great last minute gifts for family members who expect something upon your return).

a). If you enter with a paper slip, a helpful tip I’ve gleaned from a wise soul is to crumple, fold, or tear the paper in an interesting way, so that when the person drawing goes in to reach for one, they will pick the odd one. (maybe people know about this trick and do the opposite, but it’s still worth a shot!)

  1. Set small goals or intentions for the day! I would hope you don’t choose to attend a conference on something that doesn’t interest you, but if so, find the interesting, the good or the potentially good. This is a good practice not only for conferences but also for every day life (I’ll let you know when I actually do it daily, but it absolutely works at the conference). Set small goals for each day like: today I am going to meet and talk with at least 3 new people, OR today, I am going to take amazing notes and reflect during the coffee break in my secret spot (that I scoped out earlier).

Ultimately, enjoy your time, and don’t stress about writing it all down or remembering everything. Often, the really important quotes you can find on twitter anyways

Coffee is like sin?

coffee-eh

Coffee is like sin…

for me at least

I am a tea drinker. I love tea and have so many different kinds as well as methods to drink it, loose leaf, tagless tea bags, silk tea bags, French press, different steepers, etc. The list goes on and on and my collection is somewhat extensive, as I like trying new kinds. However, in the midst of my deep sea of tea, every once in a while I have a craving for coffee. I usually can put it off and continue in my tea drinking ways, but sometimes, I just have to give in to those wonderful memories of how warm and cozy coffee tastes and the smell and energy it gives. By now, I should know that my memory so often fails me and I deceive myself into thinking I actually like coffee, when in reality, it causes me nothing but trouble. Today, for example, I decided that I had enough of this longing to drink a cup and so I made some this morning. I doctored it up with milk and honey and cinnamon to make it taste better (obviously), and took my first sip. Disappointment. It was not as good as I remembered it being and left my mouth feeling weird. Now maybe I just don’t know how to make a good cup of coffee or maybe this is real, I’m not sure, but I know what happened later on was real. I went about my usual day with my roommate but soon started to feel uneasy and queasy and had to go to the bathroom a couple times! What was wrong with me?! I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so nervous and jittery all of the sudden and then it hit me…. Well it already had hit me, but this time mentally. THE COFFEE. In just a short conversation with a friend about the negative effects of coffee, I realized how it seems to always promise energy and goodness but never delivers, leaving me with dehydrated jittery energy and an upset stomach. I guess it does deliver, just not in the way I wish it did.

This seems to be a lot like sin. We build something up in our mind, forgetting the negative impacts from previous times and only remember the bright and glittery promises. However, when we actually cave and experience it, the memories of the regret and negative effects come back, and we realize why we weren’t doing it in the first place. So often we get caught up in the empty promises of this world that just leave us feeling uneasy and ill. We forget the good that we already have and try to go back to the empty promises of yesterday.

This time, I found someone to keep me accountable. I told my roommate, do NOT let me drink coffee. It is horrible for me and I hate the way I feel. Now I need to do the same about my sinful habits. Do not let me do _______; I will regret it and it will only leave me feeling empty and wanting.