Conferences can be very overwhelming if you are not organized. Having a good plan of action and easy access to your plan at anytime can make your conference experience a good one. I use Evernote to keep track of everything I need for any conference, but any note program that you can access on any of your devices will also work.
From the moment I first hear about a conference until I am done with writing thank you notes after the conference, I put it all in Evernote because I will have access from my iMac, MacBook, PC laptop, iPhone and iPad both online and offline.
Here are 13 examples of what I add for each conference I attend.
- Travel Arrangements. Forward copies of my hotel and transportation details including shuttle and/or taxi information.
- Conference Schedule. The official schedule put out by the conference and my own schedule of appointments I have set up during the conference.
- Speaker’s Session Notes. Many speakers will write detailed blog posts to promote their sessions. These are great to have handy at the conference when deciding which session to attend. I try to decide before I leave, but inevitably, I change my mind.
- Speaker Bios. I research the speakers of each session I am interested in attending. I will glance at those notes before I attend the session. When I go up to introduce myself to the speaker(s), I can talk to them about their specific blog or company. It shows that I did my homework.
- Brand or Company Bios. I also research the brands and companies that will be at the conference. When I head to the exhibit hall, I am fully prepared.
- Tweets. About a month before a conference, I begin to follow the conference’s hashtag in TweetDeck. As tweets come through that I want to remember on site, I email the Tweet to Evernote.
- My Session Notes. The notes I take during a session at the conference.
- In Person Meeting Notes. This isn’t always possible because often you meet on the run for a moment. But I try to take notes after I meet with someone especially if I promised to do something.
- Business Cards. I take a snapshot of the business card right after I receive it. If someone doesn’t have a business card available, I will ask to take a picture of their badge.
- Pictures. I upload all my pictures from the conference as a backup and to keep all conference materials in one place.
- Session Handouts. I take a picture with my iPhone and keep it with the session notes because Evernote can search for text within pictures.
- Maps and/or Directions. If I have parties or meetings to attend away from the main location, I will get a map and directions before I leave.
- Receipts. All the receipts I collect during the conference that I will need for my taxes. I take a picture of the receipt as soon as I get it. If I lose it, I have a backup copy.
- Bonus: Anything Else. All the other minor details and notes and bits of information that come through before a conference that I may need to know. I create a separate folder for each conference I attend and I tag all the notes with the conference’s hashtag (#bwe10 for BlogWorld Expo 2010). I could print out all this information, but having it available in Evernote, allows me to quickly search for any note. I download the conference file to each device I take with me so all the notes are available offline too.
How are you preparing for BlogWorld Expo?
Image Credit: Microsoft Image Gallery