Attending any conferences this spring? Here’s a list of tips and timesavers to help you make the most of your time! 

1. Make a schedule. Plan which sessions you’ll attend and create your itinerary! Use the most convenient form that works for you – paper and pencil list or electronic device. Some conferences even have a smartphone app to help you do this. Check the attendee program or ask at the registration desk for details.

2. Pack comfortable shoes. Conference centers can be large, especially if it’s a big event with a large number of attendees. Also, remember that the walk through airports, train stations, and other public transportation centers can be long as well.

3. Do your homework. If you would like to speak with a presenter or are interested in connecting with a particular exhibitor, prepare your questions ahead of time. Sometimes the lines can be long and there may be limited time between sessions. Make sure you make the most of your time and convey your message clearly and succinctly.

4. Bring a notebook. Make notes on your computer, mobile device, or use pen and paper. Things you are learning and hearing will be fresh and exciting at the time, but when you return to your “real world,” you might not remember everything like you thought you would.

5. Keep some snacks handy. Not all airlines provide snacks, or if they do, there may be a charge for them. Also, if you are attending back-to-back sessions without much of a break, having a snack or two on-hand can help ease your hunger and keep you alert.

6. Consider packing an extra bag. You may accumulate quite a bit of ‘extras’ during the conference. From handouts and journals to goodies from the exhibit hall and souvenirs, it might make packing for your return a little easier. Be aware of airline restrictions and fees however! You could even consider using a larger bag than you need so you’ll have extra room for your return trip.

Enjoy your conference! Let me know which you’ve attended or are planning to attend, and what exciting and innovative things you learn. Also, please share your own tips too!