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Do you find yourself RSVPing to events and courses with the plan of revolutionising your work-life and then end up walking out with a confusing mess of information and business cards, only never to use them again? We are passing on some of the tips and strategies we have found to work to help you make the most of your next training course or networking event.
Get your head into the game
You have to want to be there to get the most out of any event. If you’re not interested in going, it will reflect how you connect with people and how you experience the event overall.
Grab a partner
Bring an enthusiastic buddy along with you, especially if you’re prone to feeling intimidated among crowds. They will be a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of and will help to keep the energy up on these particularly long days. Avoid going in groups; otherwise, make sure you’re not hovering around in your clique. Not only will you be less inviting for others to speak with you, but you’re also less likely to want to venture out if you’re comfortable around your peers.
Plan your event schedule in advance
Try to make sure you know as much as possible about the event. What speakers are coming? What topics are they going to discuss? Some events have too many varying topics to be attentive to for 8+ hours, so consider what you want to get out of the event and plan a timetable of speakers you want to pay particularly close attention to.
While networking, you’ll likely have to answer “what do you do?” dozens of times. Have a punchy answer ready, so you’re not stumbling for words. Also, come prepared with a healthy stock of business cards ready to reach for; you never know who you will connect with!
Utilise supplementary resources
The best training programs include contact information for the course instructors or follow-up question and answer services. Don’t be afraid to use these resources if there is a covered topic that you want to learn more about or have questions that didn’t get broached in the course.
If you still find yourself wanting more, inquire if the instructors offer consulting services beyond the scope of the course. Having a subject expert guide you as you try to implement their teachings can be extremely beneficial.
Meeting others from different backgrounds working in similar fields is a huge benefit of attending courses. Attempt to develop them further once you’ve left the learning space. These connections can be a great pillar of support and knowledge while you try to improve your career by implementing what you’ve learned. You’ll never know when you might be able to offer it in return.
Execute that education!
Take the knowledge, put it into practice, and share it with your colleagues. It’s easy to be excited about an abundance of new ideas and information, but just learning things by itself is useless without implementation. Discussing these ideas not only cements the thoughts in your brain but can lead to discussions on how
A final note for all
Once the event or course is over, take some time to look back on the pages of crazed scribbles that are your hastily made notes. While they’re still fresh in your mind, take some time to rewrite them and outline an action plan for how you will implement these learnings. This short exercise will further cement the information in your memory, give you some clear goals for when you return to work, and will also prevent you from trying to decipher the mad scrawling in vain after it’s evacuated your short-term memory.
Keep these strategies in mind for your next seminar, course or event to shift the way you engage and the outcomes you receive. Peruse the rest of our blogs for more ways to shift and improve the way you operate; as always, listen for that “not yet”, as it may mean “sometime soon”