14 tips to make your next conference worthwhile

  1. Ask if you can help.
  2. Better yet, email in advance and offer your services.
  3. Do your homework. Learn about the speaker, the attendees, the presentation.
  4. Don’t sit next to someone you know.
  5. Ask a question — everyone will know who you are.
  6. Ask only one question. Don’t be THAT guy.
  7. They are business cards, not playing cards. Distribute sparingly.
  8. Take advantage of the breaks. Chat with fellow attendees. Ask why they’re there.
  9. Organize a dinner and pass out invites during lunch.
  10. Hang out by the food table. Eat last.
  11. Don’t hound the speaker. Send an email three days later with something you learned.
  12. Stay an extra night after the conference ends. Set up coffee dates. Plan a sightseeing tour.
  13. Embrace the unexpected. Don’t over-schedule. Impulse and serendipity are good things.
  14. Graciousness and appreciation cannot be overstated.