Tips for attending conferences

3:54 pm General

The Blue Advocado (formerly Board CafĂ©) is one of my favourite newsletters – there’s always at least one article I want to read, and the area of non-profit management is such a broad and deep one that there’s always something to learn.

This month’s issue has some great tips on how to get more out of conferences:

  1. Choose the sessions you know the least about
  2. Instead of listening for good ideas (only), listen for things you can quote in your next grant proposal or monthly report
  3. Skip at least one session. Go outside.
  4. Fail-proof way to meet someone: get to a session early; other introverts will be sitting there playing solitaire on their cell phones. Sit near one of them, then lean over and say, “Would you mind if I introduced myself? I’m supposed to meet at least five new people at this conference and I haven’t met any so far!”
  5. If you’re bored or irritated by a session, walk out.
  6. Put up a sign on the bulletin board to meet people. If no-one turns up, no-one will ever know.

Certainly, tips 1, 2 and 6 are things I have not done before, and would be interested in trying.


2 Responses

  1. Jonathan Blandford Says:


    7. Turn off wifi

  2. Robert Ancell Says:

    I’ve heard that 5 (walk out if bored) works really well. I haven’t been to a conference that encourages that, people just seem to check their email instead.

    What would be great is a WiFi meter that the speaker can see so they can gauge the audiences response :)