How to prepare for attending tech conference

How to prepare for attending tech conference

Getting ready to attend a tech conference? Preparing for a tech conference involves more than just booking tickets—it's about laying the groundwork for an unforgettable experience. It’s no surprise, but here, once again, it’s all about the prep work. The larger the event, the more points you can gain. So, without further ado, let's delve into the essentials that will maximize your experience!

Set the Goal

Before stepping foot into the conference venue, set clear goals for yourself. Define what you aim to achieve—whether it's networking with industry experts, exploring cutting-edge tech, pitching your startup idea, or gaining insights on specific topics. This clarity will help you make quicker and better decisions amid the buzz: choosing which speeches to attend, which workshops to join, or which round tables to participate in.

Study the agenda

Research is key. Dive into the conference agenda. Highlight key sessions, notable speakers, and must-visit exhibitor booths. Balance your schedule with familiar topics and new, unfamiliar subjects to broaden your knowledge horizon. Avoid overwhelming yourself; for instance, if you're new to AI, a panel on ML engine migration techniques might be challenging. Crafting a personalized itinerary using the event app or a note-taking app will keep you focused and organized.

WebSummit running the agenda with 40 topics, 39 tracks over 4 days:

WebSummit having agenda of 40 topics, 39 tracks over 4 days

Rehearse personal pitch

f expanding your network is a priority, mastering your self-introduction is crucial. The larger the networking expected, the more focus this deserves. Practice answering questions like: What do you do? What's your company's focus? What interests you? Keep refining your answers until you're confident you can deliver them quickly and repeatably - aim for versions that are one sentence, three, and five. Anything longer might be too much for the person you're speaking to.

Check your socials

People might not remember every detail of your story during networking. The goal is to spark interest and then allow others to confirm it by checking your social media. Ensure your LinkedIn, GitHub, or relevant social profiles present a cohesive picture of how you want to be perceived. Add a brief bio, profile picture, and preferred contact method, be it email, SMS, or LinkedIn messages.

I'm not a perfect example myself, but it highlights the point:

Side events

For major multi-day events like WebSummit or Slush, alongside the main conference, other organizations often organize gatherings or dinners. This includes consulates, embassies, business accelerators, and investment companies trying to hop in the same train and "reusing" the conference audience. Check these beforehand, as reacting ad hoc might be tough. Look for information on their socials or feel free to ask around if direct info isn't available.

By checking off these points before the event, you'll enter the venue with confidence, significantly enhancing your experience. Sure, you could just show up, but there's a risk you might miss out on something crucial in the agenda. See you at the next one!