Getting the Most out of Your Seminar Attendance
Prepare Yourself to Learn Define what you want to gain from the seminar.
Write down a list of your goals for the seminar and keep the list handy. Refer back to the list to determine whether you are meeting your goals.
Help Make the Environment Conductive to Learning Leave the office behind.
Many attendees worry that their offices will be in chaos without them. The fact of the matter is, the folks back home are probably doing just fine without you. Of course, you should let them know how to reach you in case of an emergency, (be sure to define exactly what you consider an emergency). Keep your energy level high.
Don't skip meals to make phone calls or check your voicemail. Learn in comfort.
Hotel meeting rooms are notorious for having only two temperature settings: TOO HOT and TOO COLD. Dress in layers so you can adjust to changes in climate.
Network Don't be alone in the crowd.
Meet as many other participants as possible. Exchange business cards and make notes on the back of each business card describing why you should stay in touch with that individual. Sit next to someone you don't know.
If you came to the seminar with a friend or colleague, don't sit together so you can meet new people. Be the first to break the ice.
If you see another participant sitting or standing by himself or herself, during a break, walk over and introduce yourself.
Take an Active Role in the Seminar Ask questions.
Instructors welcome questions from the group and leave time during their presentations for group participation. Don't be shy - there are probably five other people in the room with the same question, and they will be relieved that SOMEONE asked it. Remember, the only dumb question is the one that is not asked.
Get a Return on Your Investment Keep in touch.
After the seminar, make an effort to stay in contact with some of the people you met. If you promised to send information to anyone, follow up in a timely manner. Review your action plan within a few days of returning from the seminar.
Set aside time to plan how to implement the new strategies and try not to allow the day-to-day business get in the way. In the long run, the valuable time you spent at the seminar will be worth it.