Amy’s Top 5 Ways to get the Most out of Ed. Tech Conferences
Amy’s my name and educational tech conferences are my game! Ok, but seriously...I have quite a few ed. tech conferences under my belt. (Humble brag) So I decided to compile a quick list of pointers to help you get the most out of the conferences you attend. Additionally, I was recently named the eLCC (eLearning Consortium of Colorado) Conference Co-Chair so that I may share my expertise in this area by helping to plan the upcoming 2020 conference.
1. Build your conference schedule ahead of time
Building your schedule ahead of time is key to ensuring that you maximize your time at the conference. If you decide to ‘wing it,’ you may end up sitting through a session that does not fit your current job role/interests. The last thing you want to do is fumble through the schedule and wind up missing a powerful session. I also cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research on the session and presenter.
2. Visit the vendor/exhibit hall
Who doesn’t love swag?! Vendors usually provide some pretty sweet swag items for checking out their products, but that’s not why you should visit the vendor/exhibit hall. You should visit the vendor/exhibit hall because often times that is where you gain inspiration for future projects. Software demos and sales pitches can also ignite your creative side and help you come up with some neat ideas to take back to the office. This area of the conference is typically where you find all the new techy gadgets and software, so it is highly recommended to explore this area.
3. Take notes (but don’t go overboard)
How many times have you gone home from a conference and completely forgot what you did that day? It happens to me all the time! Attempting to digest all of the session information and keynote addresses can be exhausting. Do not forgot to take notes, but keep it basic. Try to come up with a few key takeaways from the session and get the presenter’s contact information in case you have follow-up questions.
4. Attend the events that allow you to network...hello, happy hour!
Conferences give you the unique opportunity to expand your inner circle and meet new people with new ideas. Your network is a vital part of how you gain inspiration, find resources, and build friendships. My advice: network, network, network!
What is the point of going to conferences if you cannot share what you learned? Take time out of your day to sit down with your teammates/colleagues and debrief about what you learned at the conference. This can help to refresh the conference experience in your mind and share/learn some cool new ideas as a group.
I hope this list helps you get the most out of your next conference experience.