Hints on preparing

In order to get the maximum benefit from a conference, it is worthwhile to begin your preparations some weeks before your departure. Here are a few hints on preparations and follow-up for attending a conference:

  • Prepare business cards (restrained attention catching)
  • Prepare an elevator pitch – briefly, who I am and what I offer, what distinguishes me (my USP – unique selling point)
  • What might interest me about other participants? – think out questions in advance
  • Set targets – e.g. I would like to become acquainted with X people who use my working language/ I would like to meet somebody regarding language X or Y / I would like to learn more about topic X >> Only people who set themselves goals can check afterwards whether the professional conference was a success for them
  • Take notes – in order not to forget conversations held/contents/questions, it is a good idea to keep a little conference notebook, in which you can also insert business cards you have received, with a note
  • Look at the list of participants beforehand – who do I know already, what do we have in common / whom would I like to meet – for what reason
  • Use attendance at the conference to market yourself - let people know that you are at the conference (mention it in an e-mail signature block, in conversations, on a blog/Facebook/Web site/Twitter)
  • After the conference - follow up with your new or renewed contacts; possible opportunities being:
    - thanking someone for a conversation
    - answering a question that remained open
    - reflecting on an event that you attended together
    - networking via XING, Facebook, or Twitter
    - forwarding a photograph
    - reporting about the conference on a blog/Facebook/Web site/Twitter (such as the answer to the questions “How did I benefit from attending?”, “What insights did I gain?”, “What do I hope for in the next conference?”, and “Which will be my next conference?”)

Sources:

  • MDÜ 4/2016, 10 Tipps zum Netzwerken (nicht nur) für Frauen, p. 16f
  • MDÜ 4/2016 „So klappt’s auf der nächsten Konferenz“, p. 19
  • Birgit Golms, Marketing für Dolmetscher und Übersetzer, BDÜ Fachverlag, Berlin 2014, p. 134f