4 Exciting Ways to Set Conference Goals
Hey there! I’m so excited you’re here!
Lettered in the Sky is all about career and personal development through the lens of living thoughtfully and purposefully and an important aspect of that is professional development. One of the best parts of working for a company or larger employer is taking advantage of professional development experiences. Professional development could be anything like a national conference, webinar series, in-person retreat or taking a class.
I’m grateful that I work for an employer where I’m able to go to our national conference each year. But even so, I spend quite a bit of free time looking for other conferences and free training to attend.
I have found it super helpful though, when I get ready for a conference or webinar training to set some goals for what I hope to accomplish or gain from it. They keep me focused while also keeping my excitement bubbling. With the summer coming closer and professional development being on the brain, I wanted to share my 4 ways for creating exciting conference goals.
1 - What is your work purpose for going? - There is a reason your employer is paying for and allowing you the time to attend this conference or retreat, so be sure to include that in your conference goals. Is there a specific topic you need to understand better or is there a problem the company’s been having and you’re looking for solutions? Include those in your conference goals to keep them at the top of your mind. It also might be helpful to talk with your supervisor about what information or contacts they might want you to check on and report back about.
2 - What’s your career purpose for going? - Other than for work, what reasons do you have for going to this experience? Are you looking to network and build a portfolio of contacts? Are you considering a job transfer to the host city? Do you want to expand your skills in a certain area? Whatever it many be, keep your personal career growth and development in mind as you plan for your activities during the conference and retreat. If it’s simply just to visit a new city and take in the sights, set aside time or an extra day on your own to look around!
3 - Review schedule sessions and make a plan. - Always, always, always review the sessions offered once they’re available and make your selections for which trainings you want to attend. It’s okay to keep a few time blocks open in case something back home requires your attention or if you want to grab a coffee with a presenter or new friend. Planning ahead of time what sessions to attend helps you focus your goals, while making a concrete plan to help meet them!
4 - Put your goals where you can see them. - Write your goals on a sticky note and keep it on the front of your conference notebook. This will keep them at the forefront of your mind so you’ll be sure to meet and exceed each one!
I often find that bigger conferences can be overwhelming with the amount of information, new contacts and exciting ideas that come from conversations. These goals will keep you focused and if you can find strong solutions or doable actions that address each goal, the conference was definitely worth it!
My next big conference isn’t until November, but I’m sure this summer will be host to a few webinars and trainings. Are you headed to any conferences or retreats soon? Let me know below so I can check it out and I hope you have the best time!!