Creative at Heart Round 6 is SIX days away, so it’s no wonder why I’ve got conference on the brain!
Over the last 2 years, C@H has hosted 5 two-day conferences, 1 three-day conference & 2 one-day conferences – we’ve been BUSY! I’ve also had the opportunity to attend & speak at several other amazing conferences & retreats! Education is one of my favorite things about being a small business owner; there’s something amazing about meeting with others in both similar and different walks of life to talk about entrepreneurship!
I know that attending a conference can be overwhelming to so many people – taking time off from work, meeting new people, struggling with insecurities… there are so many things we think about!! While I could ultimately share so many tips for attending a conference (and have blogged some other conference-related posts here & here), today I want to share ONE TIP for Attending a Conference:
Allow yourself time to process & reflect before the conference.
I’ve heard a lot about allowing yourself time to process the information learned after the conference – time to implement systems, reflect back & allow the newfound knowledge to take root & shape your business. While that is SO TRUE and I even talk about that at C@H in my talk, we tend to forget the importance of processing & reflecting BEFORE the conference begins!!
In my experience as a host, speaker &/or attendee, the one thing I have learned is that I need to allow myself time to get ready for the event.
I find that normally I’m rushing around because of an already busy schedule, crazy work hours & family obligations; that means I arrive at the conference feeling exhausted (and it hasn’t even started yet!).
While I’m excited to be there, part of me is dreading the fact that for the next 48-72 hours (or however long the experience is), I won’t be able to get work done! I have a hard time focusing on the present when I’m thinking/stressing about what is piling up & waiting for me at the end!! (It’s sad to admit that, but I want to be transparent with how HARD it is for me!)
My goal is to take time BEFORE the experience begins to truly get ready for the event – and I don’t just mean doing laundry & packing #allthethings!
In order to not feel bogged down & stressed out with the time away, I’m learning to set automated systems in place so that certain aspects of my business continue to run & run well while I’m away. (A few great tools: Planoly, Trello, an Auto-Responder in Gmail & Hiring a Virtual Assistant – more on her later!).
I also try to give myself a little bit of time to reflect prior to the conference beginning. Time to think about why I’m going, what I hope to learn, who I want to connect with & what I’m really struggling with right now. I find that when I actually write those things down, it helps me focus in on the entire reason why I registered for the experience in the first place – and then the investment on my end is even GREATER!! I want to get the MOST out of every event I attend, and prepping my own heart & mind is the best way for me to do that!! (If you’re attending C@H, we do a mini-version of this on Sunday!!)
I’d love to hear from you – Do you find that if you give yourself time to process & reflect prior to the conference/retreat experience you can get even more out of the experience?! What helps you prepare your heart & mind for the time away?