Make Educated Decisions When Choosing an Administrative Conference (Part 1 of 6)

conference_for_administrative_professionals

Since there are so many administrative conferences being offered, I would like to walk you through a series of blogs on how to select the conference that is right for you, gain approval and how to get the most for your investment.

I am keeping these blogs to the point.

A conference should feed your brain and soul!

  1. Start with the end in mind. What is your goal or goals for going to a conference?
  • Education-wise? What skills do you need to grow? What new skills do you need to learn/develop? The problem with this is sometimes we don’t know what we need to develop. It’s called our blind spot.
  • To network and meet new people?
  • Learn best practices from peers?
  • Learn best practices from subject matter experts?
  • What is the value of the program? In other words, what are you getting for your money? Any extra events such as a welcome dinner?
  1. Inquire about the quality of the workshop materials? Will you be able to use them as a reference guide after the training? Do they provide robust information?
  1. Do your research. Make a comparison spreadsheet, if necessary
  • Topics to be covered – do they align with your goals?
  • Speakers
  • The flow of the agenda – is there time for networking? Hallway conversations?
  • Location/Dates
  • # of attendees (you may not always see this number listed on the conference website)
  • The pros and cons of large vs. intimate conferences.
  • WHO is hosting the conference? Are they on a mission to help assistants?
  1. Identify your learning style (and why that’s important)
  • High energy or slower pace?
  • Hands-on; experiential or sit and listen
  • Talked to or involved and be able to do activities with other attendees when a speaker is presenting
  1. What kinds of people do you relate to or want to be around? (This is very important. Who attends is just as important as the speakers.)
  • Low-key vs. high energy
  • Who are a step or 2 ahead of you or just like you
  • Passionate about the profession or it’s just a job
  • Committed to making a personal change or someone who just wants to be out of the office and learn some basic stuff
  • Do you want to be surrounded by people who will make you better? Or agree with you all the time?
  • Do you want to be around sharp, professional speakers and attendees or ho-hum people?

Be sure to look for the rest of this 6-part series.

Joan Burge

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