Simple rules for attending a conference

I want you to have a great conference!

I want you to have a great conference!

It is just about time again for another PASS Summit.  As I’m getting ready to help out my first timers group and get ready for the summit myself I figured I would put a few tips together.  The amount of first timer posts out in the community is staggering and instead of trying to write yet another 2 page novel with lots of tips and tricks I thought I would keep it very simple.  This should apply to almost all conventions that you want to attend.  I make the assumptions in this post that you are

1. An adult

2. Most of the time you act like an adult.

Here are the rules.

1.  Communicate/socialize.  The best reason to attend a convention is NOT for the training it’s for the networking that you will be exposed to.  Remember you are all at the convention for similar reasons everyone has something to talk about so TALK!

2. Never eat/Drink/Hang out alone.  Conventions take place in some really cool places and places you may be tempted to go see the sites.  If so then go with others from the convention don’t go alone.  See rule #1 always be social always have fun.  If you want quiet/vacation time away from it all do it after/before the convention when everyone is gone.

3. Know your limits.  If you can’t stay up till 2 a.m. and still get up for a 6:30 a.m. session the next day then don’t worry about it.  Don’t feel that you have to see/do/be part of everything.  If you stick to rule #1 you are going to do just fine even if you were not at the fountain at 2:00 a.m. when someone fell in.  Also remember in this day in age most things end up on youtube.

4.  Be respectful/helpful.  Again you are all in this together take care of your fellow attendee.  Help them out when they may have forgotten rule #3.

5. Give feedback; Give it to the speakers, sponsors and organizers.  Conventions thrive on the feedback they get from the attendees.  We can’t make good events without that feedback so be suggestive and helpful in your message.  Things like “I really liked that the presenter was energetic and funny in her session”.  Not “This presentation sucked” that doesn’t help anyone get better.

Ok pretty simple 5 little rules.  This is not a long extensive list to remember or memorize it’s just simple common sense and really that’s the best thing you can do at a convention use common sense and be social.

If you would like to read more first timers post here is a good list and a link to the PASS first timers page.

My Post from last year

Midnight Dba’s Blog for PASS First Timers

PASS Community Blogs for 2013 summit

PASS First Timers

Have a Great Convention!

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4 responses to “Simple rules for attending a conference

  1. I would also add, DON’T hang out with your co-workers. You see those folks just about every day. Split up and meet new people! Traveling as a pack limits your ability to make the most of any conference experience.

  2. That is fantastic advice. The opportunity to share with fantastic people cannot be understated.

  3. Let me add one more thing that’s almost always forgotten – bring business cards to give away. Unless you can memorize people’s names and contact information with a glass of beverage on one hand and loud music playing in the background, business cards make it easier. That’s why it’s on my list of things to bring at the summit http://bassplayerdoc.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/preparing-for-the-pass-summit-2013-part-2/

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