How to Conference

You’re going to a conference?!? Congratulations!

Now it’s time to get to work! A conference isn’t just a vacation on the clock it’s a chance to fuel your brain, your animals, and your team. Check out our guide below to be most prepared for your conference.

You can also watch our series on How to Conference so you can learn how to save money, network, and get the most out of the content of the conference!

Before the conference:

  1. Visit the conference website and make note of important dates.
    1. When does registration open?
    2. When does registration end?
    3. When are paper abstracts due if applicable?
    4. When are papers due?
    5. What are the dates of the conference?
  2. 30 days before the conference, review your presentation with the curator.
    1. Remember to have a good hook in the beginning a story or question that grabs the rooms attention
    2. Make your presentation FUN! Jokes, videos, pictures, memes, personality
    3. Create a worksheet, handout, or participation of some sort to keep the audience engaged
    4. Don’t work at the department of redundancy department: don’t repeat your name and title or talk about any boring details that your audience might be able to find in the program guide or in your paper
    5. Less text is more, but think about creating a few slides that outline the big points that the audience might want to take pictures of to save for later
    6. Record your presentation and then upload to youtube using an unlisted video, link to the paper, your slides, and any other supplemental information in the description of the video as well as your email. People will email you to ask for your presentation and this is a great way to get your name out there in a professional manner using just one link that will get them to all the information
    7. Make sure to have your presentation on a flash drive, your computer, and google slides and test it on multiple computers so that if there’s issues with your presentation you have multiple back ups and you know what fonts or videos might give you trouble
    8. If using videos have the video on the flash drive independently, on youtube with links saved, and imbedded in to the presentation.
  3. 14 days before the conference, give your presentation to the team
  4. A week before the conference read through the conference note taking tips below prior to going on the trip.
  5. Know what you want to get out of the conference:
    1. Do you have any husbandry or training questions that you want/need answered?
    2. Do you want to meet or talk to a certain person?
      1. Who is it?
      2. Why?
      3. Email them beforehand:
    3. Are there projects that you’re working on that need inspiration or ideas?
    4. How do you want to grow personally from this opportunity?
    5. What challenges is the team facing?
    6. What projects/challenges are your team mates working on?

At the conference:

  1. Each morning review your list of questions/challenges/etc.
  2. Take notes as you go using the tips below, you will need to turn these notes in along with your expense report.
    1. If you’re taking notes by hand draw a camera symbol for any slides/items/things you take pictures of so you know where to insert your pictures
    2. If you’re taking notes in to a document (google docs can be used on your phone), insert the image directly in to the notes
    3. Color code or insert emojis or drawings next to various topics (i.e. books to read: draw a book symbol, things to discuss with the team: highlight or bracket, questions to ponder: insert a ?)
    4. Challenge yourself to find one thing from each session that applies to your or your facility.
  3. At the end of each day write a summary of the day that is one paragraph or less. Include big ideas, answers to your pre-conference questions, etc.
  4. Are there speakers that you’d like to present to the team virtually? Write below with contact information
  5. Before you get back organize your summaries and make a list of your goals/ideas.
  6. Prioritize your goals/ideas and write the top three here!
    1. Number 1:
    2. Number 2:
    3. Number 3:

After the conference:

  1. SAY THANK YOU! Write notes, emails, or in person thank the people who made it possible for you to attend.
  2. One week after you return review you top three goals and write SMART goals or action plans for them. Look at the list of speakers you’d like to ask to present for the team and talk the curator about arranging a virtual presentation, think about including our other concepts if applicable.
  3. One month out look at your goals and projects and adjust as needed or add more from your priority list
  4. Six months out review your notes, goals and projects and continue to check off your goals and projects
  5. If you’re stuck….ASK FOR HELP!


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