Many of my colleagues and friends in the nonprofit world are in Las Vegas attending AFP ICON. I’m very new to AFP (just joined last month), and although I won’t be there I do have some ideas of how to make this conference even more amazing for those attending.
My tips for an amazing conference have mostly to do with actions to take once you get home. Conferences are filled with awesome speakers and an endless flow of information, ideas, and actions to take. What happens many times though is that, upon returning to the office, reality sets in and the business of the work takes over. Soon all of the wonderful notes, ideas, and business cards are in a drawer.
Here are my tips to help make your conference even more amazing!
First, keep track of everyone you meet. Take their card, connect with them on LInkedIn, or simply make a list to refer to. Once you get home calendar in contacts for all of them. It could be two or three a day, or a week. Don’t let all of these amazing contacts go. Reach out to them, and plan it.
Next, those notes! My last conference I typed notes right into a document. For the first time, I have actually referred to them many times. Take action on what you hurriedly typed in. Calendar ideas to take action on or meetings to present the possibility of these actions with your team.
Next, take time to connect with companies and people on social media. I am on Twitter and LinkedIn, so I focus my efforts there. If anyone I meet is on one of those platforms, I make sure I connect with them either during or after the conference.
Once social media is done, another tip in making your conference experience amazing is to calendar thank yous to people who taught you something mind-blowing or had some intense affect on you. Send a personal, hand-written note to thank them and let them know the affect they had on you.
Lastly, hold on to the excitement you felt during the conference. Don’t let anyone take that from you. If you learned a great way to plan your next direct appeal, try it!
The key with all of these is to keep the conference going, to take what you learned and those you met with you as you continue to make the world a better place back home at your nonprofit.
I hope this helps! Any questions, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you fo reading! And if you’d like to see me in action at a conference, I’ll be attending the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference in San Antonio in October: https://nonprofitstorytellingconference.com/