How Well Are You Playing The Conference Attendance Game?

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The Game Isn’t Over When The Conference Ends

After my attendance in the Global Peter Drucker Forum 2014 event in Vienna, I reflected on what I can do to keep the spirit and the outcomes of the conference alive in my business moving forward. Many professionals struggle in doing so as it requires self-discipline and commitment to turn the event into something more than just a great event in itself.

One thing that has proven really helpful is to think of conference attendance as a game. In the game, I am learning new things, challenging myself and making bold decisions.

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The moves in the conference attendance game could be introducing yourself to people you normally would not approach, sharing insights with strangers and following up with attendees and non-attendees via social media. There are many things to follow-up with, including sharing ideas, book recommendations and new contacts.

As a livestream attendee, you can still play the game, although the possibilities for engagement and new opportunities will appear more distant. Attending a conference live will always provide a more intimate experience with plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself. If the livestream event is supported by a live forum you may use that to enhance your learning, challenge yourself and make bold decisions to keep the momentum from the event.

The point is that the game does not end after the conference. Social media and forums allow it to continue. It can even help you define the new board for your next conference game.

By following others, you can continue to be inspired by people from the event. When posting your thoughts and learning points, you will also be in a position to inspire others who are attracted to the same areas of interest as you. By doing this, and leveraging the contacts and opportunities from the conference, you can build your own following as an advancing leader. This occurs as an obvious, yet often overlooked and under-utilized opportunity to nurture long term relationships that support your ambitions as a leader.

As an advancing leader, you have the opportunity to use the conference game approach to make an impact on matters of importance to you:

  1. Stay connected to the conference community of speakers, participants and followers via social media and communities offered.
  2. Share ideas, search for collaboration and integrate new learning in your daily life.
  3. Look for opportunities to co-create with people in the community and make note to yourself of any ripple effects.

In order to embrace the notion of a game for any conference attendance in the future, you should ask yourself some key questions to make the most out of your game:

  • When is your next conference coming up? Can you build on any of the ideas from the last event?
  • What would you do differently next time? Which opportunity did you miss this time that you would like to seize next time?
  • What can you do in the mean time to prepare and improve your own experience for a great conference outcome?

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On a personal note, I am levelling up my game for my next conference and have already joined communities to prepare for a great outcome. After attending the recent Global Peter Drucker Forum, I have decided to nurture my new contacts in both the event forum as well as social media in general. As soon as the conference admission board sends out the invitation, I will submit my contribution to an article expanding on the learning points from the conference and including my ideas for next year’s conference. I expect nothing less than the unexpected from the contributors and attendees.

Let me know which reflections and comments you have on the conference attendance game approach below. Game on!