Tips for attending AFP Congress 2014The thought of being out of the office for multiple days can be somewhat daunting however, with a few helpful tips your time spent can be well utilized and very rewarding. So change your voicemail and put your out of office on, here are five key tips to maximizing your experience at AFP Congress 2014.

  1. Document  & share your conference experience.

  • Tweet or share your conference experiences with colleagues via social media while you are there and afterward. If you can post from your Organization’s social media let contacts know you are involved in professional development. This will help the organization become better at serving it’s mandate.

  • Take notes, and ask lots of questions

  • Request information and/or copies of presentations.

  1. Plan ahead.

  • If you have access to the agenda or list of attendees prior to the conference determine the sessions you want to attend and contacts you wish to touch base with or meet.

  • Bring lots of business cards.

  1. Commit your time.

  • Stay for the entire conference; and attend as many social events as possible.

  • Arrive early for sessions – you never know who you may meet prior to a session. Some of the best conversations or introductions are made when you least expect it.

  1. Broaden your network.

  • Spend time on the tradeshow floor. The educational sessions are not the only place to learn. These Vendors help offset the cost of your Congress experience, and offer an opportunity to speak with knowledgeable members of the fundraising sector. You never know what you will learn there or who you’ll meet.

  • Meet as many people as you can. Take the opportunity to engage and learn what is new in the industry.

  • Join a committee for next year and help organize the event. Getting involved is a great way to meet new people and learn about the sector.

  1. Follow-up.

  • Always follow up post event with the people you meet.  LinkedIN, an email or best, a hand-written note!

And while you are there, make sure you stop by to see us at booth #111 to play Rotate to Donate to help us contribute to the Congress Scholarship Fund.

Steve Falk

President, Prime Data