Ignore Event Prep: Don’t do that. Do this instead.

This article is part of our Don’t do that. Do this instead series.*

Not only does Labour Day signal back-to-school for many, it also signals the start of the autumn event season – possible the busiest season in the calendar.Exhibition floor

If you’re like many people out there, September, October and November can look like one long trip out of the office.  And even though this time of year can be tough to manage (you still need to find time to do your actual job, after all) attending conferences, trade show and meetings can represent a fabulous opportunity to meet new people, connect with customers and create relationships that lead to new business – if you do it right.

So, answer this: once you’ve registered, do you put the event out of your mind until the moment you need to show up? DON’T DO THAT.

Ignoring the event right up until it’s about to happen means that you can lose several valuable opportunities to make the most of the time you will spend there.

DO THIS INSTEAD: Spend a small amount of time to prep ahead of the event.

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Come and go during conference sessions: Don’t do that. Do this instead.

Come and go during conference sessions: Don't do that. Do this instead.

This article is part of our Don’t do that. Do this instead series.*

Many of the topics I cover in this series come about because I witness or experience them. This is one of those topics.

This weekend I attended a conference in town. It was a great event. I heard knowledgeable key note speakers, met terrific people and sat in on interesting breakout sessions. However, it was during the breakout sessions that I noticed an unfortunate trend: people who enter and leave, and re-enter, and re-leave (such an annoying act that I’ve had to invent a word for it…) the sessions.

Come and go during a conference session: DON’T DO THAT
No matter how quiet, or unobtrusive, or stealthy you think you’re being. You’re not. Ever.

Now, I appreciate that on occasion we can find yourselves in the wrong session, particularly when there are multiple sessions taking place at once, however, that’s not what was happening in this instance. I went to four sessions on Saturday and in every single one, people wandered in and out, over and over again, and not just at the start but throughout.

People entering and exiting a room is bad enough when you’re in a large space where doors are at the back but Saturday’s sessions where taking place in small boardrooms; there was no way of going unnoticed and yet these repeat offenders seemed oblivious to that fact.

What truly surprised me about this was the number of times people would come in and go out, and come in again, as though they were looking for the best session. This is terrible conference behaviour. It shows an incredible lack courtesy towards everyone in the room, but particularly the speaker.

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