How To Win Conference Season
Timeless tips on how not to waste time, money and energy from a conference veteran
As I prepare to make the most of a week-long ETHDenver experience, I've been reflecting on the dozens of conferences I've attended over the past few years.
I've learned a lot about how to make the most of these events, and I wanted to share my insights with others who are preparing to attend conferences of their own.
Whether you're a seasoned conference-goer or a first-timer, these tips can help you define your goals, be selective about which events you attend, and make the most of your time and resources.
I’ve broken the tips into two parts:
PART 1: Cross-conference strategy:
Define LIFE GOALS. There isn't a conference in the world that can help you that much if you don't first define what you want to accomplish in life. Going to conferences without goals is FALSE productivity.
Be SUPER picky. The job of every conference organizer is to give you FOMO about missing their conference. Go to the conferences where it's confirmed that there will be lots of people there who can advance your goals.
Treat every trip as an investment. Consider the conference registration fee, travel costs, and any other expenses associated with attending. Attending even ONE conference can cost thousands of dollars. Don’t be afraid to say NO to a conference you’re not sure is worth that investment.
PART 2: Single conference strategy:
Don't calendar your whole day. For each day, pick 1 event that you really want to go to. Your day will fill up organically as you meet people who invite you to other events.
Listen and learn what other people are doing before you get into pitch mode (if at all). It is a big turnoff to meet people who just sell their project out of the gate.
Find time for yourself to recharge and sleep. Conferences can be super draining even for "extroverts". Treat them like a marathon, not a sprint.
Use a to-do list religiously to follow up with people after the conference. Stimulating conversations about opportunities mean little if they aren't followed up with action.
Thank the organizers of the events you're going to. They work tirelessly to create Schelling points for you. Your appreciation will go a long way.
Have fun and go with the flow. Your plans will be disrupted. But new amazing experiences will take their place.
Feel free to share and fork this advice.
By the way, if you’re in Denver this week, reply to this email if you want to meet up. Here are the top topics I’m exploring while I’m here. Also, I’m hosting a meetup on “massively multiplayer movement building games,” probably on Saturday. Stay tuned.
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Have fun in Denver!