There are some things as an employee that you should never do at a conference. But when it comes to the day of the event, you completely forget what to do after juggling between conference preparation and your daily work routine. Take a look at our 9 points of what not to do at a conference.
1. You arrive late and end up walking in on your own conference
It’s not desirable to be the one who arrives ‘fashionably’ late, but when it comes to a conference, being prepared, punctual and planning ahead will set you in good practice. Give yourself more time, taking into account: traffic, parking and any other obstacles that could make you late.
2. Having too much caffeine and not be able to focus
If your alarm clock is followed by tea or coffee, try not to guzzle it until you’re bouncing off the walls. Controlling your shaking hands and quivering eyes will prove to be more of a challenge especially when you’re stood on your own speaking in front of hundreds of people.
3. Don’t fall into the trap of not doing your homework
Saying ‘um’ and ‘er’ too many times can make you look unprofessional, so make sure you know what’s expected of you and what you need to say. Take paperwork and any additional information so you’re clued up if you get asked difficult questions.
4. Don't be checking up on who’s Liked your recent profile ‘selfie’ while a colleague is talking
It’s a bit like when you’re in a science lesson in school - If you’re not looking, then the teacher will assume you are not paying attention. Your phone won’t be removed in a conference but it’s clear you aren’t interested. If your excuse is checking the clock, then it's about time you buy the old fashioned method - a watch. Better still, it's known by many employers that wearing a watch is a good sign of punctuality and organisation skills.
5. Arrange all hospitality and assess entertainment facilities in advance
If you have several hundred guests to keep smiling, providing refreshments or a finger food buffet is essential. You could also arrange for local musicians or other entertainment to perform during intervals to keep your clients interested, and they may even be impressed by your efforts.
6. Forgetting your business cards - rookie mistake
Handing over a napkin with your name scribbled on, isn’t going to impress. Have plenty of business cards in your bag prepared with your information on such as: name, qualification and contact details so people can remember you. Remember to get them properly designed and printed, as it may backfire if they are bad quality.
7. Dress to impress – don’t wear your garden gear
For any conference or event you should always dress to impress and wear smart, but not over-powering clothes. While you need to be comfortable, it’s important to network and build relationships at conferences so dressing formal works as a sign of respect.It will also make you look and feel more professional.
8. Not testing the technology before presenting
There’s nothing worse than when technology goes wrong, and when the pressure is on, it can be hard to stay calm. Test the sound, screen and lighting before your audience arrive so they are not sat waiting if something fails. Make sure to have a 'techie' nearby during the conference just in case the worst comes to the worst.
9. Empty seats reflect a poorly marketed conference
Being sat alone at a conference may not always work when the main aim is to network with other guests. But when there’s nobody to fill the seats, it doesn’t look good for the clients, or the hosting company. Having a good marketing strategy ahead of the conference will promote the event and hopefully see all those seats filled.