Get the most from the tech conference

Get the most from the tech conference

So the day has finally arrived. You got the badge, bracelet or tag with your name. You hear the music from the main stage, and see the people gathering up for the opening keynote. But amidst this buzz, how do you ensure you make the most of every minute? Let's check a few easy tips to shine during the conference itself.

Quality over quantity

During the conference, focus on quality over quantity. Attend keynote speeches and panel discussions by industry titans. When you get back, no one, including yourself, will care how many talks you listened to. What will be important will be lessons learned and insights gathered. If at the moment there is nothing particularly fitting for you, this can be a good moment for a lunch, social media post or toilet break.

Take notes

Oh, how awesome! I need to remember that!

No, you won't. Or you will until another punching line will fire off the stage. Take diligent notes. Don't do transcription of course, but a good way to start is to write down company names, projects, behaviours, frameworks and everything else that you hear about and we could categorise as a keyword. On top of it put adjectives highlighting what's trendy, why, what is a standard, why something can be an issue etc. Circle down the stuff that you didn't understood or would like to read more about back home.

Try to participate

Depending on what sort of event you went to there may or may not be a chance to ask speakers a question or actively participate in discussions. At least try to include in your notes one question that you potentially could ask the speaker. Maybe you bump into each other in hours? That's such power-move and sign of engagement I can promise you that you'll stay in one's memory for a long time.

Recently, at one of the conferences I attended, I've seen app called used for scheduling meetings between attendees. Honestly, I was a bit hesitant at first, but after trying it out, I just loved it! I joined a few roundtable discussions and even posted a topic of my own, which led to getting some fresh perspectives.

Screenshot from Braindate app:

Booths & stands

Explore the exhibitor booths with purpose. Try to engage in conversations, ask insightful questions, and seek out emerging technologies or innovative solutions. Yeah, this may start off a bit cringy. They may be recruiting and you may not fit, or they may be selling stuff you're not interested in. But the base minimum is to understand what business domain given exhibitor operates in. The tech world, although global, tends to get really small when you start looking closely. Maybe they'll open a position matching your preference next year? Or a matching colleague of yours who asked you for a recommendation? Or the business idea you have in your head may need in 1/2 year a SaaS that this company could provide? Do not shut those doors if you don't have to.


The infamous networking. Some hate it, some love it. Regardless of your stand networking is the cornerstone of these events. Initiate conversations (use the personal pitch from prep work), exchange contact information, and follow up with new connections promptly. You can do it during the conference, in breaks between the speeches, or even better - at the afterparty if the conference provides one. Here you can try to take the opposite approach to agenda selection. Quantity does matter. You shouldn't chase to talk with everyone of course, but it's more about quickly meeting as many people as you can to the degree where you can start to distinguish business-worthy contact, inspiring or interesting people and the ones with whom you do not get along at least now. Do not aim at discovering every single detail about people you talk to - you can't do it. This is the task for the day after the conference.

Comfort is key.

Visiting some of the events, especially more business-centric can sometimes be a bit of a fashion show. Go along with the dress code, but don't get pulled too deep into it. Dress comfortably, wear appropriate footwear, and carry essentials like business cards, chargers, and a notebook or tablet for note-taking. Usually, we think of full-day or multi-day events. Being comfortable is the absolute necessity to get anything out of it.

Food & drinks

Remember to stay hydrated and well-rested. Conferences can be physically demanding on so many levels, so prioritise self-care to maintain your energy levels. Queues on the bigger events can be massive so a backup chocolate bar is always a good idea. If allowed, bringing in our own bottle of water, preferably reusable can be a great help as well.

Don't forget about fun

Last but not least, although it may not look like it, it's actually about having a good time there! Going out of your comfort zone may be taxing, but once you broaden it, you'll be greeted with a massive social dopamine hit and a waterfall of professional opportunities to chase down. However, if some of the moves and tips are just too much of a stretch for you, do not force it too much. It may be someone's joy, but it does not have to be yours. Keep yourself as the first priority ✌️

Depending on the event of your choice the bell ringing noting the end of the event may be event accompanied by a feeling of relief. Following the steps above, I'm sure you can be proud of yourself for doing the best job you can. Rinse and repeat and everything will be even better and easier next time around.