Conference Survival Tips – Make the Most of Conference Attendance

You ask, Evolve answers! Evolve’s Chief Solutions Strategist, Alex Ryan, and our Lead Instructional Designer, Tristia Hennessey, know how overwhelming conferences can be.

They’ll be at DevLearn Conference & Expo from October 26-28, 2022, in Las Vegas. Attending DevLearn22? Schedule time for a free L&D consultation with Evolve at Booth #919!

Today’s question is from someone who has been to conferences before as an instructional designer and was recently promoted into a director level role. Heading to their first conference with a different focus they want to know:

“How do you make the most of and plan out your time?”

To maximize the outcomes that you’ll get from meeting with the many potential vendors, clients, and partners, you need to identify what you want to take away from the conference.

This can be as simple as:

  1. Having a list of vendors or potential learning and development partners that you’re interested in meeting (you can use the notebook and pen you know to bring after watching our conference survival tips). Ahead of the conference, create a page for each vendor, partner, or potential client that you want to connect with, write down their booth number or arrange a meeting time and take notes.
  2. Plan which sessions you’ll attend ahead of time. There are so many concurrent sessions, no one can make them all. Make a list of the sessions you don’t want to miss and others that might also be of interest to a colleague also in attendance. You might be able to swap/compare notes at the end of the day.
  3. Know what you’re going to do with all your new information when you get back. Did we mention that conferences can be overwhelming? Plan in advance how you’re going to regroup and process all the new information. This will make the follow-up and post-conference debrief go smoothly.

Knowing what you want to take away from the conference means that the notes you take, who you meet, and the sessions you attend should reflect that. Evolve will be using these strategies for DevLearn 2022 and hopefully we’ll see you there at Booth #919!