This is your Conference Captain Debbie Ireland speaking;
Welcome aboard the DWC journey! Before you embark I have a few tips to help you enjoy your conference experience.
Come Prepared! Maximise your Opportunities. Leave Fulfilled!
Register and make the most of any Early Bird savings.
Hint: if you are reading this, and have failed to register in time, email the organisers. Sometimes a polite email can get you a discount code.
Find out who is going, who is speaking and make a plan, of who you might want to connect with or speak to and about what. Most speakers want to interact – this is THE golden advantage of attending in person – you not only get to meet the superstars of the industry but pick their brains and ask all the hard questions you have been storing up for months.
Use Twitter! – To enhance your attendee experience many of our speakers are extremely active on Twitter. If you aren’t currently using Twitter, you might think about joining to develop and participate in deeper conversation with them, you will also see all the content (blogs, videos, eBooks) that they regularly post as most of them use Twitter along with LinkedIn, and it’s an easy way to stay up to date with their speaking engagements.
Sign into or sign up to your account and use #dwcau, we will see your posts on our wall, at anytime use the search box for #dwcau and you will see who has been posting!
Connect – and start asking questions!
Put your “Out of office” on. In this day and age, life goes on (as does work), so while you will no doubt need to check in, ALSO let people know where you are and that there will be a delay in your reply. Don’t get to the end of the two days and find out you missed the opportunity to learn because you were stuck on something that could surely have waited.
BE PRESENT – you spend every day at work but events like these are a rarity. Focus on them to get your money’s worth – staying in the current moment directs your energy and focus into more concentrated learning.
Set some objectives to keep you focused on WHAT sessions to attend and WHO you need to talk to – what do you most want to learn and gain experience in?
If you are attending with other people in your organisation – plan who will go and see which stream – spread out, take notes, and report in once landed! Keep your notes in a shared notebook and you can read about the other sessions.
Also, if you’re in a session and it doesn’t turn out to be what you thought it was, go to a different session (quietly/discretely)… its your time, money and opportunity.
Hint: Staff are always on hand to help – if you are unsure which session to attend ASK – I for one, am always happy to help people decide and am always around by the room entrances at the start of sessions.
Get out of your comfort zone. TALK to people – they are all in the same boat. Ask about where they are with their own journeys through Office 365. Find out challenges, learn from others’ mistakes and successes….share war stories, and ENGAGE! Take advantage of networking opportunities at the evening Event.
Collaborate with those around you. The best part of our conference is everyone is there for a collective interest – your new prospect/customer/fellow O365 implementer could be sitting next to you, so say hi and grab a cuppa with them.
Hint: Don’t spend all your time with colleagues, splitting up is a great chance to learn more and network with new people.
LISTEN MORE – TALK LESS – LEARN LOTS.
The exhibition area is usually an easy way to either jump in and ask questions, or stand back and watch demos. Either way, you get to see what’s new out there and learn about the innovative things that may help you on your journey.
Don’t be scared to say hi to our exhibitors – they have something great to offer and want to show it off. This is your opportunity to see ALL these great products and services in the one place!
Debrief with colleagues who attended, share notes, compile your story to tell
Teach others in your team about the things you learned – there’s no surer way to secure that knowledge than to teach it.
Stay connected on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay up to date with the next conference information and also with others you have met. Follow up on conversations, reach out to new acquaintances and plan for your next meeting.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips and I look forward to meeting you at the Digital Workplace Conference in Sydney 6-7 August!
Debbie Ireland is the organiser of the Digital Workplace Conferences in Australia and New Zealand. In talking to lots of attendees and as an attendee of many events herself, these are a few of her best tips to make your attendance at this event the most memorable ever. We would love to hear any others.
BTW – If you need a few reasons to convince your boss or help you decide on attending, take a look at this blog.