A few days from now, people from across the world will converge on a resort outside of Budva, Montenegro for the Spark.Me Conference. If you know nothing about it then please check it out for next year, OR if you are last minute and have the time to travel: get here! Looking at the agenda, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
This week has been spent in preparation for the conference so I thought I would share some of my thoughts that may help for Spark or any other conference you may be attending.
1. Mindset and Attitude: Be prepared, flexible and ready to enjoy. Take a day or two prior to get excited about the people you will meet. Conferences and networking opportunities should be fun and energetic, but to really get the full effect spend time getting in the right mindset. For me this includes studying the topics to be discussed while conversing with others about what they think the talk will be about.
2. Schedule and Sessions: Familiarize yourself with the schedule and the sessions. Be aware of Q and A times to prepare possible questions and follow ups. Make note of free time to see the surrounding areas. Take FULL advantage. Conferences can be fun to meet people, but also a good opportunity to seek out new inspiration from the location. As for the scheduling, take the time to look at different apps for your smartphone that will help with this. And if you have suggestions pass them along! (side note: Old Town Budva is and excellent place to start as well as Kotor and Tivat.)
3. Conversation Starters and Transitions: Part of being prepared is be ready to get into conversations with people who are different fields and backgrounds. Don’t be caught off guard by not knowing what to say. You came seeking inspiration so be ready with questions, introductions, and chitchat that will help you reach your goal. Asking about influences and motivating factors are good ways to help carry the conversation further. But in the end stay engaged and be interested.
4. Promotion: Be ready to promote others and else of yourself. At a conference like Spark which seems to be loaded this year with innovators, storytellers, leadership gurus, and business pros, promoting the work of others should be easy. For example, it would be ludicrous to not say something about the work of Christopher Fabian among others (check out the full list here).
These are four tips/areas that I have focused on. There are others, and I would love some more input. I look forward to seeing you at Spark.Me this year or next. If attending drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter.