- What a dilemma: Wear fabulous shoes because everyone is so beautifully dressed up or go for comfort. Right now my feet say "comfort" but that will probably wear off by next year. You don't want to miss potential connections because you had to sit down: wear comfortable shoes.
- Stay longer. I had to leave to speak with one of my favorite groups (Central Valley Professionals), so next year I'll check the calendar for September. But I had to rush through part of the display. With an event this big, plan to stay all day.
- Even if it's not something you think is relevant to you, be curious about every booth. I paused at the Community Hospital booth where they had the Da Vinci Surgical System on display. It was a nice surprise that several of the doctors who use the system were in the booth. I had a long conversation with Dr. William Carveth not only about the machine but about Clovis and the development of our hospital. You can get unexpected information you wouldn't have had the chance to learn otherwise.
- It was a very big event with hundreds of booths and 3, 400 attendees. There were times when the aisle was so crowded that you had to be very patient. There were amazing sessions, but it was more important to me to see people I knew, make connections with new people working for existing Chamber members and to see what companies were still doing some marketing. When an event has that much going on, you should narrow your focus.
- Thom Singer, The Conference Networking Catalyst, has a great deal of information and ideas on getting the most out of conferences on his blog at http://thomsinger.blogspot.com/
Central California Women's Conference 2010
My tote bag was full, my water bottle empty and my feet were sore. Marie Osmund was so funny, the lunch was very good and I saw so many great people. It was the end of a wonderful day at the Central California Women's Conference in Fresno. Did you go? And did you get out of it what you wanted? Here's how it went for me and how I'm going to fine-tune what I do in future years: