I just got back from Orange I had a great time and am really excited to be going to Illuminate and Group’s Kidmin Conference. One of the things that social media has done for me is change the way and the reasons I attend a conference. Here is a brief list that will help you get the most out of any conference you attend.
1. Never eat alone – Get the schedule of the conference and be strategic with your free time. Find out who is going and fill your lunch dinners and breakfasts with meetings.
2. Meet with people who have more experience than you and meet with people who are just starting you can learn a ton from both
3. Connecting with people is more important than breakouts. Get the CD’s pour into people and learn from others always comes first in my mind.
4. Set your teams expectations before you leave. In my opinion Conferences are to connect with other churches not the people from your own church. You can compare notes and discuss the conference once you are home.
5. Give more than you take
6. Pick your breakouts based on the presenter not the topic. I did that this year for orange and it worked better than I expected.
7. Fly in early and stay a bit late.
8. If you know you are going to spend time with someone come with a list of questions written out. I road tripped with Jim Wideman and had a list of questions all of which got answered. It keeps your time focused.
10. The greatest resource at a conference isn’t the venders, the breakouts or the main sessions the greatest and most underused resource is the people who attend. Fight the conference flow you will be glad you did.