In a relatively substantial entry in her blog Managing Product Development, Johanna Rothman explores the value of attending conferences and trade shows. Basically positing that conferences can provide inexpensive alternatives to the traditional training opportunities offered in organizations, Rothman makes the following recommendations:
- Take away three things from each tutorial you can apply next week.
- Meet 3 new people each day. Take away 3 ideas each day.
- Meet experts in your field, learn what you can from them, and continue to contact them throughout the year for quick feedback.
While the list is short, the point is clear: Seek relevance and actionable ideas, and tap into the experience and knowledge of the others around you.
In 1999, Fast Company contributor Scott Kirsner tackled the same topic from a slightly different angle. Together, the two might help you make more productive use of your next conference experience.