We recently shared some tips with event planners about how to get audiences more engaged in event content, but we know the onus is not all on the people putting on the event. As attendees we have to make a concerted effort to stay focused[Tweet "As event attendees we have to make a concerted effort to stay focused. #GovEventsBlog"] on the content being presented. We (or our employer) paid to attend or at the very least committed our time away from daily work. Make sure you see a return on investment by fully committing to being present at the event. This should be an easy commitment, but in today's 'always-on' world it is definitely easier said than done.
Here are several tips that we've used to help us get the most out of events.
- Take a role -- Step-up your note-taking commitment a notch. If your organization has a blog, contact the person who manages it and offer to write a post about the content presented at the event. Trust us, your offer will be greatly appreciated. Making the commitment to deliver something post-event will help you stay attentive during sessions that impact your day-to-day work.
- Set your own agenda -- Create your own agenda or list of items you are most interested in learning about and cross them off as you go through the event. Was something missed that you were hoping to learn about? Make an effort to connect with the presenter for a quick Q and A.
- Take a break - From technology that is. Leading up to the event, set the expectation with co-workers and clients that you will be out of pocket. Knowing that no one is looking for you to respond right away can help fend off the urge (or even need) to use breaks to check your email or make calls. Instead you can use breaks for in-person networking--a huge benefit of in-person events.[Tweet "Use breaks for in-person networking--a huge benefit of in-person events. #GovEventsBlog"]
- Take responsibility -- While social media can be a huge distraction, it can also help you stay focused. Make a goal of a certain number of posts or finding a certain number of new connections. With these goals in mind you can challenge yourself to pay attention for information that you deem "tweet worthy" or really commit to networking through the breaks. Use social media as a motivator instead of a distraction.
We'd love to hear from you? What have you done to make sure you are getting the most out of events and staying focused throughout the long days? Let us know in the comments.