Get the Most Out of Your Next Conference in 3 Easy Steps

It’s conference time once again with many firms hosting their large summer meetings. Do the meetings typically present you with ideas to improve your business, increase revenue, or create efficiencies?

Most meetings actually do bring many ideas that will help improve your business. The key is having a plan to get them home with you and implemented. Oftentimes, we return to the office with good intentions to get new initiatives started, but we immediately are immersed in the day-to-day activities and anything new takes a back burner position.

You are paying for the plane ticket, the hotel and, moreover, the time out of the office when you attend meetings. This year, develop a plan of action in advance for implementing the best one or two ideas fully upon your return.

Here is a 3 step (very simple) plan for maximizing ideas by turning them into successes for you.

1. Have a plan before you leave. Schedule a meeting for the week you return from the conference with your whole staff. Let them know what this meeting will be about and why you are holding it. Tell them you won’t be reiterating the meeting for them, but going over the best few ideas to get their feedback. Let them know that together the team will put a plan of action in place for implementation and accountability.

2. Use an Action Plan. While you are attending the meeting, carry with you a blank To-Do List where you can take the ideas and transform them immediately onto an actionable checklist. Each To-Do will have a date it should start and finish, a description of the activity, and who will be responsible. Pull out the actionable items while you are in the conference so you don’t have to go back to your pages of notes to find and decipher later.

3. Make your staff part of the process. Meet with your staff when you return and instead of making directives, ask them to be a part of the process, help you prioritize the action items, and together determine who will take the lead on each activity. Then plan to meet weekly for a few minutes moving forward to discuss progress.

If you want change in your business, the best places to pick up ideas are at your industry educational conferences. The key is taking the best ideas and putting them to work!

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