Your Guide to Professional Conferences

By: Leaha Kahsay

Going to professional conferences are a normal thing in most professions, and for students in university, however, it can be intimidating attending these events if you are still new to this. But don’t worry here is four quick tips on attending professional conferences to get you ready for our COMS IRL event coming up!

  1. Come prepared

Come ready to learn, make sure our prepared with notebooks, and pens to record key information you will learn from your panel of speakers. Having a record of these tips can help you know what you need to apply in your growing career. Extra things you can do if you have the supplies are bringing business cards just in case you meet someone you may want to keep in touch with!

  1. Look your best

Don’t come in joggers or looking lazy please! This is a professional event; therefore, you want to look good to set a good impression of yourself when networking. You don’t have to come in a suit and tie, but make sure you look nice and not like you rolled out of bed. Also, if you are nervous about attending these types of events we all know the saying “when you look good, you feel good”.

  1. Check who is attending the event and study up on them

Don’t come to an event clueless and not knowing what is going on, learn a little bit about the panel speakers so you can have an idea on what types of questions you would like to ask him or her. Trust me when you speak to someone, showing you put thought into what you’re asking will definitely impress them!

  1. Create your “elevator pitch”

If you are not familiar with what an elevator pitch is, it’s basically if you met a professional that you would like to connect with, what would you say? Some people blank out at this point! Here are some steps below to help guide you in what you may want to say if you only have a short amount of time to connect with someone.

  • Introduce yourself
  • Little background – you want to add what you’re studying, or your current job
  • Connection – make the connection to them (this is why tip 3 is great!) what is it about them that you are interested in? Are they an expert in a field of your interest? Do they work for a cool company?
  • Ask/Close – Remember if they’re not available for whatever the reason is, stay gracious and kind! Now, for the closer, you let them know you would like to keep in touch or you will follow up with them afterwards, and you thank them!

Remember, practice makes perfect! Conferences are there to help you grow your careers, and knowledge within our field, not to intimidate you! Be sure that you don’t miss out on our COMS IRL event tomorrow!

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