If you are like many of us, when you go to a conference, you get inspired, take great notes, meet new people, refresh acquaintances, and then go home. Not much happens after that. We have the best of intentions. The event was fantastic; there was so much to learn; you wish you could have gone to all the workshops and breakout talks. Right?
When you got back to your office, there was work that accumulated while you were away for three days. Your inbox was overflowing. It seemed like everyone wanted your ear for something. That conference booklet came out of your bag, sat on the corner of your desk for a while, and eventually got moved to your bookcase to be shelf help.
By now, you have gotten your inbox back under control. The burning issues have been resolved. Life has gotten back to normal. So, let’s revisit the notes and connections from the conference and make it all count.
All Those Notes
Take some time to review the conference booklet, the journal or notebook you wrote in, and the photos you took with your phone. Assemble all those great ideas together into one document so that you can easily access them. What did you learn from a keynote or a breakout session? What were the action items that you derived from the workshops?
Once you have identified your primary takeaways, sort them in a meaningful manner.
Reflect on the most helpful or enlightening things you learned. What resonated with you most? How can you use that information to do your job better or faster? What will serve the community? Are there some action items that would make sense to begin implementing now or later on in the year?
Share What You Learned
Once you have reviewed your notes, share your new knowledge with your staff and people you know who could not make it to the conference. You can put together a memo, an email, or even have a brown bag lunch and learn session.
Connect With Your Contacts
You spent time with friends and met new people. Add them to your contact list. Reach out with a phone call or an email to let them know you were happy to have been able to share some time with them and hope to do so again in the future. Perhaps share a couple of your takeaways from the conference. Sometimes we can be in the same room and hear the same words, but, based on who we are at the time, we hear the message differently. That is always an enlightening exercise.
Make a Plan
You know what would be good to implement, you have shared information with your staff, and gotten feedback. It is time to put it into an action plan.
If you learned a way to improve your leadership, what one thing could you implement today and commit to daily until it becomes a habit? If there was a simple idea that would engage clients, what was it and how will it be implemented? Is there a new way to think about employee or customer engagement?
A final note
Conferences can be overwhelming, especially those content-rich ones that leave you feeling inspired and enriched. Keep the momentum going. Review your notes. Share what you learned. Build your community. And, lastly, make a plan so that all the fabulous information gets applied to make the world a little better than it was before.