Swag bag we participated in for the GPS workshop for photographers by Simply for Creatives.
Last year, I attended The Creative at Heart conference in Denver and this year I’m THRILLED to be a session leader at the event in August. In preparation, I thought I would reflect on how to get the most out of attending a creative conference. They’re a big investment, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them. Here are my suggestions:
• Follow the conference hashtag in the months leading up to the event & interact with others who are attending. This is a great way to make friends before it even begins. Comment on their posts and find out why they are going, and if they have any advice if this is they’ve been to this conference previously.
• Pack for success. Take a peek at the conference schedule while you are packing your bags and think ahead. It’s fun to consider what outfit best represents your brand, will keep you comfy in the environment, and will translate if you’re going to have a night out or enjoy the city to which you’ve traveled.
• Select the sessions you will participate in ahead of time. When you’re prepared for the topic, you may have ideas of what kind of questions you can ask or what to focus on to best benefit your business. For example, I will be leading a session on Bookkeeping Basics. If you knew you were attending ahead of time, you could take a look at your books and see where your biggest issues are. Deciding your sessions ahead of time will also help prevent indecisiveness when planning your days.
My last visit to Creative at Heart in Denver, CO in 2016. Photo by Bulloss Photography and Alicia Lacey Photography
• Make plans with friends and acquaintances you know are attending. It’s nice to have a game plan with some familiar faces and will help you maintain relationships with people you may not get to see frequently. On the flipside, make sure you leave some time open for getting to know new people. You’ll want to leave the conference with stronger bonds with people you are inspired by. Make sure you pack business cards with your social media handles so you can keep in touch with all your new buds.
• Implement what you’ve learned in your sessions, thought this is the toughest part. It’s so easy to attend a conference and get all fired up! Inspiration is just around every corner and so easy to soak up that positive and educational energy when you’re there. Increase your chances of continuing the work once you return to the office by making a list of action items after each session. Prioritize them and tackle them as soon as you get home. Read more about achieving your goals here.
Do you have any plans to attend a conference this year? Let us know when, where, and what inspired you to sign up!