If you're taking time out to attend a conference, it's important that you make the most of the experience. There's always things that need doing in the workplace, so if you're sacrificing those man-hours to attend an industry event, it's important to gain value from your attendance.
According to speaker and author Michele Lawson, approaching conferences with the right attitude is all-important. Writing for the Huffington Post, she claimed there are two things that can hinder an individual's conference experience. These are the preconceived notion of experience and expectation".
Ms Lawson said professionals should be wary of assessing the value of an event by comparing it to others. "While you may be a first timer to this particular event, chances are that you are not a first timer to conferences in general," she noted. "You already have a mental bar set that this conference will either surpass or fall short in reaching."
Expectation is also dangerous, Ms Lawson suggested. If people build a conference up too much in their own mind in advance of attending, there is always a likelihood they will be underwhelmed when the event comes around. Not only this, but they may not be entirely objective in judging the conference, and end up maligning it unfairly because it fell short of their high expectations.
According to Ms Lawson, it is important to let each event start with "a clean slate in your mind". "Give each conference a rating of 100 as soon as you register," she urged. "It will either miss, meet or exceed that score on their own merit."