The 2012 annual conference was a tremendous success! Over 600 attendees, over 90 speakers, and a bounty of great workshops. Now you are back in the office, all settled in and excited about the information and best practices you’ve learned during the conference. Now what? What do you do with all that information swirling around in your head or scribbled on your iPad? Here are some tips on how to bring that conference experience full circle and share the valuable information you’ve learned with your colleagues and community.
- Schedule a brainstorm session with your team. You likely did not bring everyone with you to Washington, DC, so now that you’re back…ideally as soon as possible…debrief your team. Print the conference schedule, bring your notes, pull up online presentations from speakers, link or share conference photos. Share the wealth.
- Present a conference summary to your colleagues, peers, partners, etc. Just like your co-workers, peers within your local community can benefit from your conference experience. Download some of the best slides, find the best tweets, add in a couple videos, a few images, and unleash the conference hero within. (Hint: Storify)
- Email, tweet or chat with the speakers. Trust us, it’s okay to talk to them. And by chance, if you ever do run into a speaker who is too busy to return a post-conference tweet or email, then you’re too busy to take their advice.
- Talk to your new friends. Remember that guy /woman from Raleigh/Des Moines/Sacramento? Talk to them. Email, tweet, or chat soon after you return. Ask them how they have implemented lessons from the conference.
- Send us an evaluation. Everyone has an opinion about the conference. We’re sure you do as well. Don’t just sit there quietly. Upset that more time wasn’t spent on principal reduction? Guess what? Tell someone. Good or bad.
- Email everyone. For every card you picked up, email that person within a couple of weeks of getting back to the office. Not only will it force you to remember the person, but it could also lead to some interesting opportunities and partnerships.
- Create an action item list. Did you love a specific idea or best practice? Transfer the knowledge to an action list, work it into your daily routine or the next department meeting. Don’t let it gather dust in your notebook. Another take on the same idea: create a takeaway list. Pull out the conference schedule, check your notes and for each session write down the one takeaway. Create an email and send the list back to yourself in a month. Repeat the inspiration cycle.
- Come through on those promises. We all make them…”Oh, I will send you that,” “Let me connect you with her,” “I will give him a call.” You really should follow through on any promises made during the conference.
- Connect through social. The people you met, the speakers, even the people who started following you during the conference. Find them on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and talk to them. For those on Twitter, we’ve made it easy for you by creating a list of everyone who tweeted using the #JustEconomy hashtag. Don’t forget to also follow @NCRC!
- Register for next year’s conference. Save the date! March 20-23, 2013. The earlier you can plan to attend, the better.
Using any number of these suggestions will ensure you and your colleagues reap all the benefits the 2012 annual conference had to offer. So bring your conference experience full circle and help local communities take one step closer to “A Just Economy.”