Free Resources: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript Hello and welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast. I\u2019m your host Tim Simmons, and today I want to give you some more tips for getting the most out of a conference. Some people see conferences as a way to get away from the office for a few days and take a break. And sure, it\u2019s helpful to step back from the daily grind and learn something, or reflect on your work and business. But if you really want to get the most out of a conference, you should look at it as more than just a learning opportunity. I mean, if you\u2019ve got hundreds or even thousands of people in one place looking to connect with others, it\u2019s a golden opportunity for networking. In our last lesson, I talked about conference preparation and gave you a list of things you should do during the conference. Today I want to give you some tips for after the conference, and share some \u201cdon\u2019ts,\u201d or things to avoid, during the conference. My first tip is to not attend every session. Don\u2019t feel like you\u2019re missing out if you linger in the lobby or the hallways while others are in a workshop. Some of the best conversations happen outside the meeting rooms, when you\u2019ve got some space and quiet time for really good discussion. And this ties in with another thing to avoid: rushing. Any time you\u2019re in a hurry, you\u2019re closed to networking. So if you\u2019re having a great conversation with a potential customer and you realize the presentation on \u201cSoft Selling\u201d is about to start, don\u2019t dash off. Skip the presentation and focus on the opportunity at hand. Now, I realize that conferences can be intimidating. We\u2019ve all had that experience of walking into lunch on the first day and scanning the crowd for someone we know. Like a colleague or coworker. Someone safe and familiar. But safe and familiar is why we go home at night, not why we attend conferences. So don\u2019t glom on to one person or your colleagues. That\u2019s a waste. You need to spread yourself around. So at lunchtime, don\u2019t look for familiar people. And don\u2019t park yourself with a fellow wallflower. Instead, look for interesting, outgoing, or influential people. Ask them if you can join them, and get involved in the conversation. After all, getting involved is what it\u2019s all about. You need to appear \u201copen for business,\u201d so to speak. And to do that, there are a couple of other things you should avoid. For one, don\u2019t spend too much time on your phone checking email or calling the office to see if the photocopier has been fixed yet. That\u2019s not why you\u2019re there. I realize it\u2019s tempting to pull out your mobile any time you have a spare minute. But here\u2019s a challenge for you: every time you want to look at your phone, talk to someone new instead. This is not to say that your phone is useless. In fact, I\u2019m about to tell you how you should use it. But first, here\u2019s another don\u2019t: don\u2019t focus too much on business cards. I know that sometimes you judge your networking success by how many cards you got. But quality is more important than quantity. Besides, you can easily lose business cards. And then what do you have besides the memory of a face? So, if you\u2019ve made a good connection, ask instead for the person\u2019s mobile number or email and plug it directly into your phone. You might be thinking that you like to be able to write notes on the back of business cards. But did you realize that there\u2019s space for notes in your phone contacts? Those notes will come in handy later, after the conference, right? There\u2019s no use getting someone\u2019s contact info if you never contact them. So, a few days after the event, you should follow up with those people you talked to. Some people like to email everyone the first day after the conference. But right after a conference there\u2019s usually a lot of different things competing for your time and attention. So, it\u2019s more effective to wait a few days before following up. What else should you do once a conference has finished? Well, if you\u2019ve taken lots of notes, it\u2019s a good idea to organize them. Or type them up. Reflect on what you learned, rather than getting swallowed back up by the daily grind right away. At a conference, you might be so overwhelmed by information that you can\u2019t absorb it all. So taking the time afterward to review and reflect is an important part of getting the most out of your conference. And don\u2019t think only of the benefits to yourself. It\u2019s a great idea to pass on your what you learned to your colleagues. Organize a little workshop or presentation on your key takeaways. Use the ideas you encountered to generate discussion at your office. All right, we\u2019ve covered some important conference tips today. I\u2019ve advised you against a few things like attending every session, rushing between talks, sticking to familiar people, and spending too much time on your phone. These are all things that can get in the way of networking. And after the conference, be sure to follow up with people and organize, or share, everything you learned. That\u2019s all for today. So long. And see you again soon. Go to the Business English Pod website for more business English lessons.