Conference Survival Guide

Attending a conference can seem stressful, the travelling and planning stage can seem fairly complicated but planning and booking early can make a big difference.

If you are definitely flying, then opting for indirect flights wherever possible will save you money, and if you can share accomodation too then you’ll save even more. This means you have more money to spend in you leisure time once you are there, or if your company is paying it shows you care about the company’s finances.

A few weeks or days before the conference make yourself aware of the dress code and make sure that you pack adequate clothing and comfortable shoes to see you through.

Most conference organisers will publish a plan of the stands and a programme of events prior to a conference or exhibition, so check their website a few days before. That way, you can be aware of who will be where and if there are any talks or seminars that are a must-see for you, meaning that you are able to plan your time more carefully and get the most out of the conference.

Once you are there, there will be plenty of free gifts on the stands including wine and sweets, but also more useful things. One freebie that many overlook is the free advice that is given out, and as conferences often bring together some of the best minds in the given field, it’s a great opportunity to ask questions, get advice and discuss burning issues.

Conferences can often seem like long days that are all work, work, work then catching up with emails from work in the evenings. If you can spare the time and have friends or relatives near the event, then why not take an evening off and arrange to visit them or meet for dinner. It’s a great chance to catch up, and also breaks up the conference.

My biggest conference tip is to take advantage that all social media has to offer, both before and after the event. Utilise your twitter, facebook and LinkedIn accounts to make contacts before and during and to stay in touch with useful connections after the event.

If you’re the one wanting to organise a conference then using a conference venue finder can make things easier. Cheshire Business Tourism’s site has a built in conference venue search to help you find the perfect location.

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