by Alice Shaffer
Regarding nannies just wrapped up our second INA Nanny Conference Scholarship Award this weekend. We had several wonderful entries, it was hard to choose, but we did make the tough decision. Congratulations to Nicole B for being chosen as this year’s recipient of the conference scholarship.
Next Monday make sure to come back and read her essay.
Thank you to everyone who entered it was a pleasure getting to know more about you in your essays. We look forward to meeting you in Tampa. Early bird registration ends Thursday March 24 for this year’s conference. If you haven’t already registered make sure to do so before then. Interested in what is going on at this year’s conference? Make sure to check out Table Talk Thursday Spotlight On: INA Conference Speakers
The Development Team at Regarding Nannies is very excited for this year’s conference. With the announcement of the recipent of this year’s scholarship, we felt it would be great to talk about how to gear up and be ready for the conference in May or any other nanny conference, workshop or event you will be attending.
Last year we asked several folks about how to be prepared for conference. Make sure to check out Tuesday Tips…Making the Most of Your INA Conference Experience
Recently I came across three excellent resources for getting the most out of your conference experience.
The first one is from a blog called: Type-A-Parent and was written by Diana titled Tips for Conference Attendees I am going to include a little snippet in a second, but Diana captured alot of what I have personally done in many of my conferences and workshops I have attended over the past 15 years in my nanny career. I hope that you can utilize this information as well.
“I attend several business conferences a year and I’m always amazed at the number of people who regard these sessions as an opportunity for a vacation, rather than a professional learning experience. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your conference experience……. read more of the article here
The second one is actually a free teleclass that is happening tomorrow night (Tuesday the 22nd) from 8- 9pm EST via Doreen Rainey called Maximize Your Conference Experience. She will be leading a discussion with Patricia Perkins, Certified Leadership Coach.
Patricia will be sharing the specific steps you should make before the conference, during the conference, and after the conference. This systematic approach to conference attendance give you more time and peace of mind. You will learn to connect with more people, learn more new ideas, share with others and grow your network and my business. Now, this is your opportunity to obtain the skills that will help you maximize your attendance at any conference, workshop and event.
Doreen Rainey is hosting the Get Radical Women’s Conference next weekend in Washington DC. Hundreds of women will be in attendance to this “radical” conference. Speakers include Jillian Michaels, Niecy Nash, Rhonda Britten, Ali Brown and Deborah Owens. I am attending the Get Radical Conference with three of my friends. I admit I am completely nervous to go. But I am taking these tips I have been sharing here and applying them.
The third one is from SeekingSitters, and they had this wonderful idea after attending the Spark and Hustle conference. The Trapper Keeper: Get organized for effective follow-up
As soon as you meet someone and have gathered their business card, file the card away in a business card holder and jot down notes on the plastic insert. (If you don’t have a filing system on hand, jot notes directly on the card.)
Immediately Take Notes
Referencing the day you met them, where you met them and brief detail about your conversation. Draw diagrams where they sat at your table to help reference them personally while making your follow-up contacts.
I was laughing as I read this because back in the fall I had gone to a blog conference, BloggyBoot Camp with 120 wonderful bloggers including teammate Kellie. We were “assigned” tables so that we could mix and mingle and get to know others. I had taken to writing on the business cards what “table” number we were at. I even started doing the who sat where, as suggested above. Honestly this approach does work and it was so very helpful. I have even been able to reference back to some of those folks I met when someone else asked for a blogger who rode a motorcycle!
Networking is the common thing amongst all the articles and conversations when discussing conferences and workshops. Conferences are meant to be educational, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself by networking with new people and reconnecting with old friends. Take the opportunity to get to know everyone around the conference. Even if it is a “Hello, I am Alice-it’s nice to meet you Susie!” (name tags are great!) At the INA conference you will receive a conference attendee list. I try to every year have a face to face conversation with everyone attending. Now this chat can be 2 minutes in length or having dinner with them.
The point is I want to know the folks there, because you never know when you might be traveling, moving to a new city or looking for a job. Speak with the agency owners, the business industry owners, the newborn care specialists, the INA board members, the nannies and the conference exhibitors. Don’t leave a “stone” unturned. I should also note, that I am the “Raffle Lady” and do go up to everyone inquiring about raffle ticket purchases, but before I was the “Raffle Lady” I did this. I even sent out handwritten notes one year telling folks it was great meeting/reconnecting with them. Find your niche in how you want to make the most of the INA Conference this year as well as any other workshop or conference. Hopefully these articles I shared will assist in giving you a great conference experience as well!
I strongly suggest getting some business cards to share with those you meet at the conference. You can get 250 business cards from Vistaprint. Here is a link to get 250 business cards for free and only pay shipping and handling . Order them now because you can choose the 21 day shipping for cheaper if you want. Things to put on there are a contact email, phone number, blog address, twitter name. You can also leave it very generic and just put your name and email address as well. You do not need to put your address on there. This is also a safety issue for wherever you pass out cards.
Again the Regarding Nannies Team is excited to meet the new conference attendees and reconnect with those we have meet before. Make sure to come to the networking break hosted by Regarding Nannies on Friday morning.
Do you have some tips for attending conferences! Please share in the comment section so we can all benefit.