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Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of going to some great conferences such as Affiliate Summit and CJU. Every time I attend, I think of new ways to help the process go a lot smoother and stay organized in the midst of chaos. I’ll let you in on a few organizational tips to avoid pulling your hair out in front of your peers!
So Many Meetings
At the last summit, I scheduled 23 meetings with different merchants & OPMs. One of the main things that helped me keep track of all my meetings and not double-booking was having them listed in one centralized location. Whether or not you prefer Google calendar, Pathable sites for conferences, or even a good old planner, have them all listed in one spot. I took a few minutes to make a spreadsheet for each day, listed out time slots, and entered meetings as I scheduled them. Jot down any sessions you’d like to attend first, that way you don’t schedule a meeting at the same time and have to miss it.
Right before the conference I printed out my spreadsheet. I made it look pretty and highlighted my meetings:
I made separate note sheets for each meeting. Some people use a notebook, but I wanted to have their name, company, and meeting location already listed. Then, I added some lines for notes and printed that out as well. Having the schedule and notes printed kept me from scrambling to find out where I was meeting and allowed me to take notes when I needed to.
Handy Dandy Binder
My schedule and note section went into a small 1/2 in. binder along with my new favorite addition – business card sheets! I found these at Office Max and am so glad I did! Whenever I got a business card, I just slipped it in the sheet and could view all the information without shuffling through a giant stack of business cards. This especially came in handy after the conference was over and I needed to follow up with all the contacts I made.
You can also add the session listing and maps to your binder once you receive them after checking in. I know having a map definitely helped me find where to go!
Make Time for Morale
While you’re there with your colleagues, be sure to set aside some time to relax and have fun together! FMTC had a great time at ASW by going out to dinners and attending events together. For a virtual team like ours where we all work remotely, going to conferences isn’t just a time to network and learn, but also a time to talk face-to-face and get to know one another.
If you can squeeze it in, do a little sightseeing and take away a great time, great info, and closer relationships with awesome people in the industry.
Comment and share your great conference tips and favorite memories!