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Attending conferences, seminars, and expos is a great way to update and enrich your knowledge and skills in your field.
It gets you out of the daily work grind, exposes you to different perspectives, and lets you form professional relationships with people in the same industry.
There’s so much value in joining live events. While webinars and online courses have become increasingly popular these days, nothing beats the kind of interactions you get on a face-to-face basis.
Keep reading if you want to know more about conferences and other similar events and how they can help you achieve your personal, business, and career goals.
What is a Business Conference?
A business conference is a gathering of professionals working in the same industry to discuss new trends and opportunities in a particular business aspect, such as manufacturing, marketing, sales, customer service, and human resources management.
Typically, business conferences have several resource speakers who are experts or known personalities in the related field.
What is a Seminar?
A seminar is a type of conference that equips attendees with new knowledge or skills on a certain topic.
Seminars are often confused with workshops. While there are events that combine both in one setting, a seminar is different from a workshop.
Seminars are more of the lecture-type events where various speakers give a talk or presentation about different subtopics under an overall theme. The objective of a seminar is to inform.
Workshops offer a more hands-on and interactive experience for participants. These events consist of demonstrations and group or individual activities where attendees are expected to contribute their ideas or insights.
What is an Expo?
An exposition or expo is a large event where a variety of companies from a specific industry participate to network with potential stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and prospective job candidates.
For visitors, an expo offers an opportunity to discover options when it comes to brands, products, services, suppliers, or distributors in a particular industry.
Also called trade fairs or trade shows, expos typically feature product displays, live demos, discussion sessions, seminars, and sponsored booths. An expo may be held as part of a conference that runs for two or more days.
What is a Convention?
Generally speaking, a convention is a large annual gathering of people with a common interest or delegates representing various groups.
Conventions held in the Philippines can be classified into career-oriented and hobby-oriented events.
There are formal conventions that gather professionals in a particular field like engineering, science, and technology.
On the other hand, some conventions are geared toward enthusiasts in areas like comic books (aka Comicon), anime, cosplay, pop culture, or gaming. These events usually feature activities like meet and greet, presentations, Q&A sessions, and booths.
What are the Benefits of Attending Conferences, Seminars, and Expos?
There are at least six good reasons attending events like conferences, seminars, and expos is worth your time and money.
1. Learning Opportunities
People attend conferences mainly for its educational aspect—to gain new knowledge and enhance skills.
In a conference, attendees are exposed to new industry trends and best practices that can spur their career and/or personal growth, or improve their business operations.
Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran in your field, you can learn something valuable from a conference.
It could include insights from thought leaders, new techniques and strategies, lessons from an individual’s or company’s success or failures, and more.
2. Gaining New Ideas and Approaches
Conferences spark innovation by starting an exchange of new ideas and approaches.
They also enable participants to gain a fresh perspective through learning at a different venue—away from the usual office cubicle—which is critical for thinking outside the box.
3. Networking with Industry Experts and Peers
Conferences are a venue for meeting new people in your field, so attending them can help build your professional network and form collaborations in the future.
Who knows, you might meet your future customer, supplier, employer, mentor, or even life-long friend in the next conference you’ll attend.
Attending conferences also allows catching up with like-minded peers you haven’t connected with in a while.
Is a conference speaker someone you admire? It’s also a perfect chance to meet and talk to the expert or influencer you’re looking up to—and even take a selfie with!
4. Discovering New Products or Partners
Visiting trade fairs is a good idea if you need to find the best suppliers and service providers for starting or growing your business, or if you just want to explore your options.
Some companies that join trade shows are also on the lookout for prospective employees.
So if you’re considering to change careers or employers, then you can increase your chance of getting hired when you drop by the booths of those companies.
5. Seeing What Your Competitors are Doing
This is a good but less talked about benefit of joining expos as a visitor.
Such events expose participants to the different players in the industry they’re in, so entrepreneurs can get a glimpse of their competitors and observe how they do business.
6. Investing in Your Growth
Ultimately, all the benefits of attending conferences and similar events lead to one thing: self-development.
When you go to a conference, you’re investing in yourself, your company, and your career.
List of Business Conferences, Expos, and Seminars in the Philippines (2019 – 2020)
|Event Name||Category||Schedule||Venue||Registration Fee||Website|
|PSE’s FREE Stock Market 101 Seminar||Investing||Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.||6F PSE Tower,5th Ave. cor. 28th St.,BGC, Taguig||Free||www.eventbrite.com/e/pses-free-stock-market-101-seminar-metro-manila-tickets-35530978112|
|Makati: Young Investors Club Seminar||Investing||Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m.||IMG Financial Center, 9F King’s Court Bldg., Chino Roces Ave.,Makati||Free||www.facebook.com/phfinancialseminar|
|The Secret to Saving & Building Your Future Seminar||Investing||Daily (morning and afternoon sessions)||IMG Financial Center, 9F King’s Court Bldg., Chino Roces Ave.,Makati||Free||www.eventbrite.com/e/the-secret-to-saving-building-your-future-tickets-76795153371?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|COL Financial Stock Market Seminars||Investing||Multiple dates||COL Training Center (24F East Tower, PSE Centre, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center,Pasig) and other sites nationwide||Free||www.eventbrite.com/o/col-financial-20211800107|
|Startup Drive: How to Hire and Motivate Your First Employees Seminar||Business||November 6, 2019||Clock In BGC at Bonifacio High Street, 3FC2 Bldg., Taguig||Free||www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-drive-how-to-hire-and-motivate-your-first-employees-tickets-76764258965?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|Maritime Forum 2019: Beyond the Horizon||Maritime||November 6, 2019||Sofitel Plaza Walkway, Pasay City||DCCP members: Php 2,000|
Non-members: Php 2,500
Walk-in rate: Php 3,000
|Reader’s Odyssey: Travel the World Through Reading Seminar||Hobby||November 6-8, 2019||UP Town Center, 216 Katipunan Ave.,Quezon City||Php 2,500||www.eventbrite.com/e/readers-odyssey-travel-the-world-through-reading-tickets-58433943498?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|PHILCONSTRUCT (Philippine International Construction Equipment and Building Materials Exhibition)||Construction||November 7 to 10, 2019||SMX Convention Center Manila andWorld Trade Center Metro Manila||Regular rate: Php 200/day|
Student rate: Php 100/day
|Learn to Earn Online (LEO) Seminar||Business||November 9, 2019||ILAW Center Multipurpose Room, 4F Paz Adriano Bldg., Miriam College,Katipunan, Quezon City||Php 900||www.eventbrite.com/e/learn-to-earn-online-leo-3rd-run-tickets-75994410327?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|iBlog: The 15th Philippine Blogging Summit||Business||November 9, 2019||Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City||Free||iblogph.org|
|Rocket Boosting Your Business thru Digital Transformation||Business and IT||November 11, 2019||Luxent Hotel, 51 Timog Ave., Quezon City||Php 3,500||www.eventbrite.com/e/rocket-boosting-your-business-through-digital-transformation-tickets-76696981737?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|FASHION CONNECT: A Reverse Trade Fair||Fashion||November 11, 2019||Philippine Trade Training Center, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Pasay||Free||www.eventbrite.com/e/fashion-connect-a-reverse-trade-fair-tickets-77259869349?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|Social Media Week Manila||Business||November 11-12, 2019||Day 1: 2F Estancia at Capitol Commons, Ortigas, Pasig|
Day 2: Samsung Hall, SM Aura, BGC, Taguig
|Student rate: Php 3,000|
Gold rate: Php 6,000
VIP rate: Php 9,000
|9th Philippine SME Business Expo & Conference (PHILSME)||Business||November 12-13, 2019||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Expo: Free online registration / Php 100 walk-in registration fee|
Conference: Php 1,800 (regular rate) / Php 1,200 (student rate)
|Managing a Successful Sales Team Seminar||Business||November 13, 2019||Philippine Trade Training Center, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Pasay||Php 2,500||pttc.gov.ph/pttc_trainings/managing-a-successful-sales-team-9|
|8th Customer Experience Management Conference 2019||Business||November 14-15, 2019||Tower Club, Philamlife Tower, Paseo de Roxas St., Makati||Early bird rate: Php 18,977 + VAT|
Walk-in rate: Php 20,977 + VAT
|Manila Auto Salon||Automotive||November 14-17, 2019||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Php 150||www.facebook.com/madaboutstyling|
|Techtonic Summit 2019||Business||November 15-16, 2019||SMX Convention Center Aura BGC, Taguig||General pass: Free|
Conference pass: Php 1,300
All-access VIP pass: Php 10,000
|Getting Married Bridal Fair||Wedding||November 16-17, 2019||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Free||www.gettingmarriedbridalfairphils.com|
|3rd Day8 Conference for Entrepreneurs: Prosperity and Purpose||Business||November 19, 2019||Carlos P. Romulo Theater, 4F RCBC Theater Plaza, Tower 2, RCBC Plaza, Makati||MSME rate: Php 1,288|
Non-MSME/Walk-in rate: Php 2,288
|VIP Experience: Greg Secker Exclusive Live Event||Investing||November 20, 2019||Shangri-la The Fort,30th St. cor. 5th Ave., Taguig||Online registration: Free|
VIP rate: Php 2,099.80
|Effective Selling and Negotiation Seminar||Business||November 20-21, 2019||Philippine Trade Training Center, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Pasay||Php 3,000||pttc.gov.ph/pttc_trainings/effective-selling-and-negotiation-3|
|Affiliate Conference & Expo (ACE) 2019||Business||November 21-22, 2019||Solaire Resort & Casino – Shuttle Bus Depot,1 Aseana Ave., Parañaque||$271.09||www.eventus-international.com/ace|
|Leaping the Gap: Philippines 4.0 Skills Forum and Exhibition||Education||November 21-22, 2019||Philippine Trade Training Center, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor, Roxas Blvd., Pasay||Php 3,500 – Php 5,000||https://workshop.thames.edu.ph/event/view?eventId=72&fbclid=IwAR3nGq2rwZJEGu7OerDYTY51YyJb6KaXitOOkY4WHw90CUm07pUdLGLBmGY|
|TESTCON 2019 Manila||IT||November 22, 2019||City Garden GRAND Hotel, 8008 Makati Ave. cor. Kalayaan Ave., Makati||$101.99 – $141.32||www.eventbrite.com/e/testcon-2019-manila-tickets-70441122293?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|The Profitable Personal Brand Seminar||Business||November 23, 2019||Villa Virtual Coworking, Jupiter St., Makati||Early bird rates: Php 2,495 (solo) / Php 3,495 (buddy)|
Regular rates: Php 3,995 (solo) / Php 5,995 (buddy)
|Payoneer Forum 2019: Building a Successful Global Business Outsourcing Business||Business||November 23, 2019||Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila, 5th Ave., 28th St., Taguig||Free||www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-payoneer-forum-manila-tickets-73153200191?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|Before I Do: Wedding and Debut Fair||Wedding||November 23-24, 2019||Megatrade Hall 3,5/F Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong||Free||www.beforeidobridalfair.com|
|Balikbayan Finance Summit||Business||November 25, 2019||Marquis Events Place, Rizal Drive, BGC, Taguig||Early bird rate: Php 7,500|
Regular rate: Php 9,500
|Search Engine Optimization Seminar||Business||November 27, 2019||Philippine Trade Training Center, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Pasay||Php 3,000||pttc.gov.ph/pttc_trainings/search-engine-optimization-5|
|Mutual Funds 101 Seminar||Investing||November 30, 2019||A. Wood Training Room, 2F Sun Life Centre, 5th Ave. cor. Rizal Drive, BGC, Taguig||Free||www.eventbrite.com/e/mutual-funds-101-seminar-tickets-73529271029?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|Introduction to Forex Trading Seminar||Investing||December 1 and 2, 2019||Training Centre of Excellence, 2F W Office Building, 28th St., cor. 11th Ave., BGC, Lane O, Taguig||Free||www.eventbrite.com.au/e/introduction-to-forex-trading-bgc-taguig-tickets-78132298809?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|2019 PhilEd Conference||Education||December 3-4, 2019||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||NCR: Php 6,000|
Outside NCR: Php 5,500
|Philippines Garment Industry & Fabric Expo 2019||Fashion||December 5-8, 2019||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Free||phglf.com/en|
|Crisis Management and Business Continuity Planning Seminar||Business||December 10 and 12, 2019||AIM Conference Center Manila, Benavidez cor. Trasierra St. Legazpi Village, Makati||Php 13,999 + VAT||www.fmi.com.ph/events/crisis-management-and-business-continuity-planning-seminar-2019|
|Transformational Leadership Communication Seminar||Business||2019 schedule: December 12-13|
2020 schedules: March 30-31 | June 8-9 | September 14-15 | December 7-8
|Suite 1503A, West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Bldg., Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig||Early bird rate: Php 8,500 + VAT|
Regular rate: Php 9,500 + VAT
|Lamudi Housing Fair||Real Estate||December 14, 2019||SM Mall of Asia, Music Hall||No info yet||www.lamudi.com.ph/housing_fair|
|International Conference on Engineering & Technology, Computer, Basic & Applied Sciences (ECBA- 2020)||IT, Engineering, and Science||January 11-12, 2020||H2O Hotel, Luneta, Manila||Early bird rate: $150 – $250|
Regular rate: $200 – $300
|Life’s Big Events Expo 2020||Wedding||January 11-12, 2020||SM Mega Fashion Hall, Megatrade Hall, 5F Mega B, SM Megamall, EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City||Free||themesnmotifs.com/events/LBEE20/home|
|B2B Marketing Forum||Business||January 16, 2020||KMC Solutions, V Corp. 125 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati||Php 2,000||www.eventbrite.com/e/b2b-marketing-forum-manila-tickets-69057417595|
|Instagram Marketing Forum||Business||January 17, 2020||KMC Solutions, V Corp. 125 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati||Php 2,000||www.eventbrite.com/e/instagram-marketing-manila-tickets-69101641871|
|Weddings and Debut Expo||Wedding||January 25-26, 2020||PICC Forum, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay||Free||www.weddingsnbeyond.com|
|6th Digital Marketing 101 Seminar for Beginners 2020||Business||February 11-12, 2020||Megatrade Conference Center, 5F SM Megamall, EDSA Mandaluyong||Student rate: Php 3,000|
Regular rate: Php 6,500 – Php 8,000
|The Wedding Library’s Bridal Fair 2020||Wedding||February 14-16, 2020||Megatrade Halls 1-3,5F Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong||Free||weddinglibrary.com.ph/articleview/158/286|
|EduTECH Philippines||Education and IT||February 19-20, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Free||www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/edutech-philippines/index.stm|
|Digital Marketing Summit||Business||February 20, 2020||AIM Conference Center Manila, Benavidez cor. Trasierra St., Legazpi Village, Makati||Early bird rate: Php 20,780|
Standard rate: Php 25,988
|2020 Digital Hospital Transformation Conference Philippines||Healthcare and IT||February 20, 2020||Manila Mariott Hotel, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay||No info yet||asiahospital.escom-events.com/5th-hms-philippines-2nd|
|Art Fair Philippines||Arts and Crafts||February 21-23, 2020||The Link, Parkway Dr., Makati||Php 350||artfairphilippines.com|
|SENIA 2020 Conference||Education||February 21-23, 2020||International School Manila, Taguig||$327.62||seniaconference.org|
|Hackin’ Ka na Lang 2020||IT||February 22, 2020||University of the Philippines Los Baños, Pedro R. Sandoval Ave.,Los Baños, Laguna||Php 944.91 – Php 1,049.90||www.eventbrite.com/e/hackin-ka-na-lang-2020-los-banos-tickets-75812474151?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|10th HR Leadership Conference||HR||February 27-28, 2020||Businessmaker Academy, Unit 1503A 15F West TowerPhilippine Stock Exchange Bldg.,Pasig||Super saver rate: Php 7,500 + VAT|
Early bird rate: Php 8,500 + VAT
Regular rate: Php 9,500 + VAT
|PHILAUTO 2020 (Philippine International Auto Parts, Accessories, Service & Repair Equipment Expo)||Automotive||February 27-29, 2020||Enderun Tent at Azuela, Davao City||No info yet||www.philauto.org|
|Filipino Franchise & Business Expo (FFBEX) 2020||Business||February 28-March 1, 2020||World Trade Center, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave. cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay||Free||affi.com.ph/ffbex2020/|
|Public Safety Philippines 2020||Public Safety||March 2-3, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Online registration: Free|
Walk-in rate: Php 100
|11th Baby, Kids & Family Expo Summer Edition||Family and Parenting||March 7-8, 2020||Megatrade Hall 2,5F Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong||Free||www.babyexpo.ph|
|Philippine International Furniture Show||Arts and Crafts||March 12-14, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Php 500||www.pifs.ph|
|ASEAN Gaming Summit||Gaming||March 17-19, 2020||Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th St. cor. 5th Ave., BGC, Taguig||Starts at $895||aseangaming.com|
|Philippine World Building and Construction Exposition (WORLDBEX)||Construction||March 18-22, 2020||World Trade Center, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave. cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay||Free||worldbex.com|
|Franchise Asia Philippines Expo||Business||March 25-29, 2020||SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Online registration: Free|
Walk-in entrance fee: Php 100/day
|Manila International Auto Show (MIAS)||Automotive||April 2-5, 2020||World Trade Center, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave. cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay||Php 100||manilaautoshow.com|
|15th Philippine Food Expo 2020||Food and Beverage||April 17-19, 2020||SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||No info yet||www.philippinefoodexpo.com|
|Philippine OpenGov Leadership Forum 2020||IT||April 23, 2020||New World Makati Hotel, Esperanza St. cor. Makati Ave., Ayala Center, Makati||$995||www.eventbrite.sg/e/philippine-opengov-leadership-forum-2020-tickets-62188507500?aff=ebdssbdestsearch|
|HRD National HR Summit Philippines||HR||April 29, 2020||Manila Mariott Hotel, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay||No info yet||hrsummit.com.ph|
|Philippine Building and Construction Exposition (PHILBEX) – Davao||Construction||May 7-10, 2020||SMX Convention Center,SM Lanang Premier, J.P. Laurel Ave, Agdao, Davao City||Free||philbexdavao.com|
|The Future Energy Show Philippines 2020||Energy||May 18-19, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||No info yet||www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/power-electricity-world-philippines/index.stm|
|Cyber Security Philippines 2020||Business and IT||May 20, 2020||Manila Mariott Hotel, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay||No info yet||infrastructure-asia.com|
|Traders Fair & Gala Night||Finance||May 23, 2020||Makati Shangri-La, Ayala Ave. cor. Makati Ave., Makati||Online registration: Free|
VIP rate: $199
|Aquaculture Philippines 2020||Agriculture||May 28-30, 2020||World Trade Center, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave. cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay||No info yet||www.aquafisheriesexpo.com/philippines|
|World Digital Economic EXPO 2020||Business, Finance, IT||June 8-9, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||€53.21 – €105.44||digicon2020.com|
|Manila AI and Blockchain Summit||Business and IT||June 8-9, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||No info yet||manilablockchainsummit.com|
|Philippines International Beauty Show||Beauty||June 9-11, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Php 100||www.philbeautyshow.com|
|25th Graphic Expo 2020||Business||June 11 – 13, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||No info yet||fmi.com.ph/graphicexpo2020|
|Manila Foods and Beverages Expo (MAFBEX)||Food and Beverage||June 17-21 2020||World Trade Center, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave. cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay||Php 100||mafbex.com|
|Philippines Marine (PhilMarine) 2020||Maritime||June 18-19, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Free||philmarine.com|
|7th Entrepreneur and Franchise Expo (EFE)||Business||July 3-5, 2020||Megatrade Hall 2, 5F Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong||Online registration: Free|
Walk-in rate: Php 50
|PHILAUTO 2020||Automotive||July 9-11, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||No info yet||www.philauto.org|
|Philippines Bus and Truck Show(PHILBUS & TRUCK 2020)||Automotive||July 9-11, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||No info yet||busntruckexpo.com/PHILBUSTRUCK|
|IFSEC Philippines||Public Safety||July 22-24, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Free||www.ifsec.events/philippines|
|World Food Expo (WOFEX)||Food and Beverage||August 5-8, 2020||SMX Convention Center Manila andWorld Trade Center Metro Manila||No info yet||www.wofex.com|
|PHILIPPINES LAB 2020||Science and Healthcare||August 12, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Free||phil-lab.com|
|Medical Philippines Expo 2020||Healthcare||August 12-14, 2020||SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay||Free||philmedical.com|
|11th Philippine Business and Entrepreneurs’ Expo (PBEX)||Business||September 4, 2020||Megatrade Hall 2,5F Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong||Free||www.philippinebusinessentrepreneursexpo.com|
|AsiaFood Expo (AFEX) 2020||Food and Beverage||September 9-12, 2020||World Trade Center, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave. cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay||No info yet||www.afex.com.ph|
14 Tips on Attending Conferences, Seminars, and Expos
You or your company spend money and time for conferences and other events, so it’s important to ensure that you make the most out of your every attendance.
Here are tips to help you maximize the benefits of attending conferences, seminars, or expos.
1. Know your goal
What do you want to get out of the conference? Is it to learn from the speakers? Build partnerships with potential clients and suppliers for your company? Meet a specific keynote speaker?
Set your agenda before you leave for the conference, so you can make a plan on how you’ll approach the event and which people to talk to.
2. Do your research beforehand
Coming unprepared is a waste of your time and money you’ve paid for the conference.
It may also cause a lot of hassle, confusion, and embarrassment.
Days before the event, check the organizer’s website or Facebook page for the important details such as the topics to be covered, venue, schedule, and background on the resource speakers.
3. Register early
Slots in some of the more popular events get filled up pretty fast. So as soon as you can, register for a conference, seminar, or expo that you want to attend.
Early registration can also save you money. Most event organizers offer early bird rates (which are significantly lower than on-site/walk-in fees) to those who sign up months before the actual event.
4. Book your flights and/or accommodation in advance
If the event is in Manila and you’re coming from a faraway province like Cebu or Davao, make arrangements for your flights and hotel accommodation as early as possible.
Preparing these essentials early on will save you from the stress and hassle of finding available flights and hotels on the day of the event.
Nowadays, it’s quick and easy to find and book travel needs online, so you should be able to take care of them before you leave for the event.
5. Let people know you’ll be out of the office
Especially for events that run for more than two days, you need to set an out-of-office reply so that your colleagues or clients know why you won’t be able to respond immediately.
If possible, refer them to a colleague for urgent concerns.
Doing so not only shows professionalism but also prevents you from losing your focus and getting distracted and pressured to reply to email messages.
6. Bring some business cards
When networking at a conference, handing out a calling card is a lot faster and more convenient than writing down someone’s contact details on paper or entering their number on your phone.
Don’t forget to bring a couple of business cards (at least 10) with you to a conference.
7. Dress appropriately
In most conferences and similar events, guests are expected to come in business or smart casual attire. That means you won’t be allowed to enter if you’re wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, or slippers.
To avoid embarrassment and wasting your time, know what the dress code is.
If the event website doesn’t specify anything about the required attire, check its photo gallery to see what the attendees wore in the past event.
8. Steer clear of distractions
If you’re sneaking in some work during the coffee break or while the speaker is talking, you’re missing out on the opportunity to learn and network in a conference.
Resist the urge to check your work email or phone during the event. If you have to live-tweet about the conference, limit the time spent on your phone for a few minutes or so.
Ideally, put your mobile phone in silent mode to avoid distracting other attendees. If you have to take an important call, quietly step out of the room.
9. Write down notes, but only when necessary
Event organizers usually provide soft copies of the speakers’ presentations to the attendees after the conference. So you don’t have to take down notes of everything the speaker is saying—just the key takeaways will do.
Also, refrain from taking pictures of powerpoint slides too often, as it will be distracting to your fellow attendees.
10. Engage with other participants and speakers
No matter how introverted you are, it pays to spend some time mingling with the people around you at a conference. Network with people before the session begins and over lunch and coffee break.
How do you do that exactly? Start by introducing yourself and describing what you do. Then ask the other attendee about himself/herself.
Also, don’t be afraid to stand up and ask questions during the open forum or Q&A session.
Apart from getting your question answered, you can also gain some exposure (both for yourself and your company) when you introduce yourself before asking your question.
11. Be an active participant
Some conferences and seminars have group activities, from serious brainstorming sessions to fun ice-breaker games.
Don’t hesitate to speak up and contribute your ideas—and even crack some light jokes when appropriate.
12. Use social media for networking
Boost your networking efforts by being active in social media conversations (i.e., live-tweeting, using and following the event hashtag, liking and commenting on posts, etc.) about the conference.
It’s a great way to reach out to and get noticed by industry peers.
13. Share your learnings
When you get back to work, make time for sharing what you’ve learned from a recent conference with your colleagues. You can share it in an upcoming team meeting or simply via email.
This way, you’re helping others with the new knowledge you’ve gained and establishing yourself as a proactive team member.
You can also post about your learnings on social media. If you have a blog, consider writing about your experience, realizations, and thoughts about the latest conference you attended.
14. Create an action plan
After putting the things you learned in writing, you’re now ready to develop a plan for applying them to your work, business, or personal life.
For example, how do you plan to implement the new strategies you’ve picked up from a conference with your team? What will be your goals?
Regardless of what you plan to do, be sure that you’re getting the most out of your learnings from the conference and putting them into good use.
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