Get the most out of your PETstock Conference
So, you’re coming to conference.
You’ll attend a dozen sessions, walk your way around an exhibition, meet new people, eat great food and with any luck, head home with a tonne of PETstock swag!
For some of you heading to conference it will be your tenth PETstock event. For others, it will be your first - never fear, we’ve got your back!
Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make sure you get the most out of it!
Be Prepared. Be Prepared. Be Prepared
The quickest way to throw away hundreds of dollars (yours or your company’s) beside actually throwing them away, is to go to a conference without sitting down and planning your time and personal goals.
It’s not exactly military statecraft, but it’s essential. I guarantee there will be no time to stop and pause once you arrive at the event, so take some time to complete the following items before you board your plane, train or automobile!
- Review the agenda
This one’s a “no-brainer”. Set a goal for what you would like to learn at conference, and use the agenda to devise a plan specifically tailored to that goal.
Check out the 2018 conference agenda here
- Know your way around
Familiarise yourself with the conference space and resort. You don’t want to miss or be late to any sessions or events.
Check out the floorplan here
- Download the PETstock Conference App
Keep an eye out for instructions on downloading the and improved PETstock Conference App, it's got your back too!
- Set an out of office reply
Let’s be honest: You’ll probably be checking your work email during the conference. But even if you are, you won’t be able to respond at the same clip as you do in the office. Make sure those people who are emailing you know that you are out of the office at PETstock’s 2018 Conference, learning super awesome things and what date you’ll be back.
- Bring the right gear
Conference is a multi-day affair where you’ll be logging some long days … and nights! To remove as much stress as possible from your experience, make sure you’ve taken care of these things before you board your plane, train or automobile:
- Keep your chargers with you! You’re going to spend a lot of your days on your devices checking and uploading photos to the amazing PETstock App – don’t get caught with dead batteries!
- Check the weather. Make sure you check the forecast and pack accordingly. Remember that your conference rooms will be airconditioned so layers are always a good idea.
- Pack according to the agenda. Does the agenda include some down time? Does it include an exercise session? Make sure you pack the right stuff so that you get the most out of the agenda set up just for you. Make sure you also check the dress code for events – don’t be “that” person who dresses up when you’re not supposed to!
You’re here… now what? The next few days are going to be a whirlwind of activity, but don’t be overwhelmed. You’ve already armed yourself with a goal and plan – there are only a few additional things to consider so you get the most out of your time.
- Fuel yourself
Meals are provided for you at conference, including breakfast. Now, I’m not going to tell you what your Mum always has about breakfast being the most important meal of the day but, I will say she’s right! Get into breakfast and fuel yourself with nutritious items that are going to keep your brain active until the first break.
- Set your alarm & Get in early
Have you ever thought about setting your alarm for the next morning BEFORE you go out for the night? Just a tip! Don’t get stuck at the back of the room or worse be that person who everyone looks at when you arrive late. Make sure you are up and ready to learn, regardless of last night’s happenings.
- Participate in larger conversations
Our conference not only has an app with a newsfeed that you can add to but this year, will utilise the hashtag #petspiration. During the event, make sure you are tagging your photos, posts and tweets correctly. Striking up conversations online and being active on the conference app is a great way to connect with other attendees. Why not try your hand at LinkedIn or Twitter as a start.
- Stay organised
Conferences are information avalanches and while our PETstock one will include an array of cute animal related pictures and puns, there is no way humanly possible for you to remember all the information provided. Make sure you take plenty of notes, label them properly and jot down people’s names who were involved in conversations.
Take some time to decompress after you return home…but not too much, because your work is not finished yet! The days and weeks after conference are when you will be able to put everything you have learned to use and share your knowledge with your team mates.
- Tidy those notes
All that information you have gathered now needs to be put into an easy to use and share format. Take the time to do this properly so your team mates and future you get the most out of your experience.
- Share your learnings
The insights you gained at the conference will be useful for your team, so make sure to set aside time to pass on what you learned. Whether it’s leading an in-person session or writing an email or post to document the most valuable information, proactively sharing information will help your colleagues do better work.
- Feed it back
Organisers of conferences are always looking for ways to improve so make sure you are completing feedback forms and surveys post event.
There is no better place than a conference to take stock of your company and industry. Make sure you make the most of your time and of course…. HAVE FUN!