What is a conference?
Time out from the grindstone? Professional development? A chance to meet up with peers? Hopefully the LGMA State Conference 2013 will be all of those things. But let’s not leave it to chance. This year’s theme of Up Periscope, Scan the Horizon is the perfect prompt for some advance thought to make sure you get the most out of the conference.
For myself, as I’m fairly new to Western Australia (with a long background in Local Government in England and New Zealand), I am keen to listen and learn, and meet a few new faces.
This applies to any conference; whether you’re a seasoned attendee or a first-timer, preparation helps to get the maximum return on the time (and dollar) investment. So what are your intentions? Is there a particular speaker you don’t want to miss? Or maybe a particular person you want to try and catch up with. Or maybe you have an issue you want to talk over with someone who has faced similar circumstances. Those sorts of things are more likely to happen if you are proactive. If there is a particular person you want to catch up with, why not reach out and propose a catch-up, or ask an associate for an introduction if you don’t already know them? Avoid the times your highest priority sessions are on! You can always suggest grabbing an early breakfast or coffee together, or perhaps a drink at one of the evening networking events. It may sound simple, but booking ahead can make the difference between opportunities lost and gained.
And then there’s splendid serendipity
It is often said that the greatest benefits of a conference are in the “down times”; in the coffee line, during the breaks between sessions, wandering around the industry stands, mingling at the functions. Nothing particular booked, nothing specific planned – just being present and open to those chance conversations. LGMA’s surveys of previous conferences suggest that attendees gain as much from their opportunity to chew the fat with their industry peers, as they do from the talented array of speakers. We agree wholeheartedly that informal networking is hugely beneficial. We are proud to sponsor the cocktail hour on day two of the conference.
Use our hashtag #WeAreLocalise