How to Get More out of a Conference

Posted on August 30, 2011

     I recently read an article in “Editor’s Notes issue #71” titled “Get A Lot More Out of a Conference.”  This caught my eye as there is much to be gained from attending conferences and I wanted to see the ideas which proposed how to do just that.  The author writes about choosing to attend sessions you know the least about.  This is a good idea so that you can learn new things instead of sitting through something you know well and then  becoming frustrated having to sit through something you’re well versed in yourself.  The article suggests, “If you work with young people, go to the session on working with seniors.  You’ll learn something you can apply to your work — you will.”  The second tip given is one that I really like.  The author proposes that instead of listening for good ideas only, when a speaker says something obvious or completely wrong to jot it down.  Later, when writing grant proposals or monthly reports, you can draw on the quotes.  For example one can write “As nationally recognized expert ___ said at a recent conference…” and “The extent to which this subject is misunderstood was demonstrated by a speaker’s recent remark at a national conference…”  This point is such a great one because it emphasizes that there are moments everywhere to draw from and make useful.  These two suggestions from the article stood out for me and can truly make a difference in bettering my conference-going experience and I look forward to implementing them.

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