Attending learning and development (L&D) conferences each year can propel your organization’s L&D initiatives forward and make them more profitable and effective, as well as ensure that your organization remains a competitive force in its field for many years.
Conference season is just around the corner, so it’s time to set your plans and get prepared. Here are five things you’ll want to make sure you do this year when attending L&D conferences.
1. Do Your Homework
Before signing up for a conference, make sure that the conference is well aligned with your own L&D strategies and objectives for the upcoming year.
Does the conference have sessions that align with your desire to incorporate more human-centered learning approaches, for example? Or does it have ample opportunities to network with third-party entities that you’re interested in partnering with soon?
Overall, make sure that you know the specifics of the conference before attending it to ensure that it aligns with your organization’s goals and immediate outlook.
2. Set Learning Goals
After parsing through agendas and preliminary learning resources, set your own learning goals for the conferences you’ll be attending. Have a list of questions you want other industry professionals to help you answer as you network and swap best practices.
Know how many exhibitors you want to learn about and the details you’d like to get from each, and know what type of insight you want to record for each learning session you plan to attend well in advance.
3. Have a Networking Strategy
Know not only whom you want to network with but also how you plan on networking before attending a conference. Will you focus on networking with your ideal list of professionals during lunch or breakfast, or will you wait until learning sessions or exhibition breaks? And will you plan to hand out business cards or pamphlets or come up with some other strategy for collecting contact information?
4. Share Your Plans with Others at Your Organization
Before signing up to attend a conference this year, see if other professionals at your organization want to attend it, too, as you might be eligible for group discounts and rates. Also, see if there is anything else others at your organization are interested in learning more about if they can’t attend the conference with you.
In addition, make sure you have leadership support for your attendance at each conference, and see if relevant conference fees and related travel expenses will be reimbursed by your organization.
5. Become a Sponsor
If you’re able to be a sponsor at a conference, you’ll have a lot of branding and networking opportunities. Other industry leaders and professionals will easily be able to learn more about your organization, products or services, expertise, etc., via sponsorship opportunities—especially if you secure prominent advertising, host a table in an exhibition hall, or facilitate a learning session.
If you’re still looking for L&D conferences to attend this year, read “What You Need to Know About the Workforce L&D 2019 Conference,” and save your seat at this popular event today.