Prepare Yourself for Seminars

A professional conference or seminar can be well worth the time away from the office if you take the right approach. Here's how to turn your next professional meeting into a valuable experience: 

Prepare yourself ahead of time. For example, list at least five specific questions you want answered at the conference.

Use break time to network. Talk with your peers. Make lunch and dinner plans with as many different people as you can. 

Bring lots of business cards to exchange. When you receive a card, make a note of something distinctive about the person giving it to you. 

Collect handouts from all speakers - even those whose sessions you don't attend.

Read your notes. Review them on your way home, and prepare a summary of what you experienced and learned. 

Back at work, conduct a mini-seminar for your coworkers on the key points of what you've learned. 

Keep in touch with the speakers. Write to them with your questions on specific topics. Ask how you can get additional information on their specialties.

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