Get the Most Out of Your Conference Experience

Photo of Chairs and Notebooks

Students + Young Designers | Pre-Conference Checklist:

 Investigate the area. Spend a couple minutes of quality time with google maps and explore the local dining options, places to pick up necessities and points of interest.   Review your schedule. Take a look at the agenda again, and see what tours and events you’ve signed up for. Decide what sessions you definitely do not want to miss, and which ones you are low priority for you.   Check the weather. But don’t forget to bring a sweater or light jacket in case the A/C is running too aggressively.  Figure out who you want to meet. Take a look at the SEGD website and list of speakers, as well as staff and board members. If you’re hoping to meet future employers, check out firm listings as well.   Don’t forget key items! Chargers, laptop, tablet, samples of your work, business cards (more than you think you need), breath mints, and the oft forgotten toothbrush.  When you get to the conference review the Hotel map, check in with conference registration and brace yourself for a fun time!      

Students + Young Designers | Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Conference Experience:

 Start conversations. Introduce yourself and ask questions, this is no time to be shy. Likewise, don’t cut off a meaningful conversation just to snag a good seat at the next session- that person could be a future partner or employer (and they’re all good seats).   Hang out. Attend the social parts of the conference, and the impromptu gatherings that happen after the day is done. This is where a lot of the magic happens, as people have uninterrupted time to discuss design with peers from around the world.   Take notes. Make sure while you’re taking notes you identify action items and key ideas (asterisks, boxes, etc). Also take visual notes- sketch and snap photos to get more out of your experience.   Create an Ex-Sum. After each talk, try to summarize the main idea in one concise thought. Write this down, and make sure it’s easy to find later.    Review. After the conference, read your notes and transfer the most salient points to your to-do’s and regular notes.   Follow-up. You’ve met interesting people, maybe even made some contacts which could turn into a future job or project. Don’t slack in this department- give it a couple days, but wait any longer and opportunities can slip through the cracks.   Watch. Keep your eyes open for the conference videos on SEGD Talks- when they are posted, watch the ones you missed, and re-watch ones you found most useful. You’ll retain it all much better.   

See you there! 


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