Attendee Series Part 1: Coming Prepared

August 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm

By Jennifer Brous

Maybe you have attended a BDI event, maybe not (but should). If you have, I am sure you have seen me before – I am one of the event organizers guarding the registration table with a large coffee in hand. Needless to say, I get to interact with A LOT of attendees who come to our events.

It is important for the team at BDI to execute events that provide educational and innovative content for our attendees to walk away with. Therefore, I am starting The Attendee Series to help our attendees make the most out of our events.

Part 1: Coming Prepared

I do not know about you, but I used to get extremely anxious (in a good way) before my first day of school. Not only would I plan my “haven’t seen you all summer” best first day outfit, but I would also organize my school bag with binders, folders, paper, pens, pencils, erasers, etc. I did all of this because I wanted to get the most out of my first day (aka: syllabus day) – I wanted to come prepared.

Now fast forward past your riveting school years to your present employed life. Coming to an event as an attendee sometimes feels like the first day of school as a naïve student. You walk into a room full of faces – eager yet timid to network. Knowing that you have the right tools can make a significant impact on what you will take away from the conference. Here are some things that go into coming prepared:

Pens/Pencils/Notepads: The conference starts and people are rustling through their bags, pulling out writing utensils, notepads, and laptops. You however, do not bring any of those items. You begin looking around the room, thinking “Am I the only person who did not bring the proper conference materials?” Truthfully, you probably are not, but coming without these items can hinder your conference experience. True, the slides will eventually be online and you have that to fall back on. However, you wont be able to record the “extra notes” that help make the presenter’s points a little more clear. Do yourself a favor and bring the proper tools!

Business Cards: The employee version of trading baseball cards or POGS! Business cards are extremely important to bring to any conference. Not only does it make for a great “ice-breaker”, but it also is the best way to meet future clients and contacts for future business (and sometimes personal) ventures. It also beats straining your wrist, writing your contact information multiple times.

Your Conference “Game Face”: Fuel yourself before the conference and get ready to learn! Energize your body with complimentary coffee and breakfast and start to mingle. Remember to take advantage of the featured sponsor tables, participate in panel and roundtable discussions, and ASK QUESTIONS!

Maybe we have grown past multiple choice exams, projector slides, and cartons of milk; but in the working world full of conferences, presentations, and future contacts, coming prepared goes a long way. With the prepared tools in hand, you will be sure to ace this conference!

Stay tuned for the next topic in this series. Click the Subscription button on the right to receive an e-mail when the next topic is posted.

Jennifer Brous – Sponsorship & Event Coordinator

As the Sponsorship Event Coordinator at BDI, Jennifer has a background in Event Planning, Fundraising, and Marketing. She enthusiastically interacts with event attendees and consistently looks for prospective participants that could have a positive impact on future BDI events.

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Entry filed under: Attendee Series, by Jennifer Brous. Tags: .

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