5 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Conference

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Conference

The International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) had their annual conference in Washington, DC this year.

You know what that means.  It means I had to be there!  I live in the DC metro area, so I was delighted to spend 4 days with a group of folks that love visual thinking as much as I do.

Here are 5 ways to make the most out of your next conference.  I will use IFVP as an example, so here we go…

  1. Have a Plan.  Conferences can be overwhelming, especially when it spans several days.  One hack I tried that worked very well for me is setting an intention each day.  Each day before I arrived, I determined what I wanted to practice and what I wanted to learn from others.  For example, on Day2 I wanted to practice graphic recording using my iPad.   At the end of each day I felt a huge sense of accomplishment because I was focused and intentional.
  2. Participate.  The best way to learn is to DO.  After all, that’s why you are at the conference.  I know it’s tough, especially when sessions run one after the other and it seems like you have a IV drip of coffee.  Make an effort to participate no matter how small.  Ask questions during your sessions, talk with your neighbor, and jump in on the exercises and group activities.  That’s what I did and it always helped me connect with the people at my table.
    Group exercise - drawing - IFVP Arlington, VA

    Group exercise for building a mobile.

    IFVP Mobile Graphic Recording Arlington, VA

    Completed mobile. WOW. Designed by Team Sculptures

     

  3. Make time to meet up.  Conferences are the perfect time to meet up with friends you don’t see often.  The best advice I have for this is to plan before the conference.  Find out who is attending and connect with them early so you can make plans for a morning walk or happy hour.  I was so happy to see my buddies from the #CincyTakesOnPoverty project.Friends IFVP Arlington, VA
  4. Talk to the Vendors.  The vendors participating at a conference can give you fresh ideas on how to help your clients. They also have insight on trends in your industry, so learn what’s hot and what’s not from them.  You can usually buy supplies, get significant discounts and save on shipping.
    Neuland Markers Graphic Recording Tools Supplies

    Neuland was in the house, so that means stock up on ink and markers. I picked up my free gift too, love the marker bag!

    Scribes-to-GO Printing Graphic Recording

    Scribes-To-Go shared ideas on using print materials to make our events POP!

  5. Have Fun!  Look at this crowd.  Yes, the photographer told us to say cheese or something like that.  But we were all genuinely having FUN together.  Such a supportive community to be a part of.  The conference theme came true in this picture for us, United We Scribe!

What’s your best tip for getting the most out of a conference? Please share and comment below.

Business Tips from the GWWIB Spring Conference

Business Tips from the GWWIB Spring Conference

The George Washington Women in Business recently held their annual Spring Conference #DrivingVision and I was the official Graphic Recorder for all the keynotes.   This day long event focused on real world business advice and fostering relationships.  This event included over 300 students from George Washington University and 80 professionals across the country.

The first keynote was from Marne Levine, VP, Global Public Policy, Facebook.  Below is an action shot of me graphic recording real-time at the conference during her speech.

Marne Levine, Facebook, Graphic Recording, #GWWIB, George Washington University, Washington DC

These visual summaries help participants retain more of what they heard at the conference so they can stay engaged to take action.  Here are the completed images from the graphic recording of all the keynote speeches

For a larger view, click the image to expand.

Marne Levine, Facebook, Graphic Recording, #GWWIB, GW University, Washington DC

 

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Jean Wang, Google Glass, Graphic Recording, #GWWIB, Washington DC

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Marla Beck, BlueMercury, Graphic Recording, #GWWIB, George Washington University, Washington DC

 

I love Marla Beck’s tip to always “Be Scrappy.”  What was your biggest takaway?  Please comment below.

Building a Platform – Interpret America #IASummit4

Building a Platform – Interpret America #IASummit4

I recently worked with Interpret America for their annual international conference.  It was so fascinating to me because I was in a room full of language and sign interpreters.  I felt right at home because I am also an interpreter… but I use a visual language with sketchnotes and graphic recording.

The keynote speaker for the conference was Michael Hyatt.  This was a great opportunity for me because I follow his blog and listen to his podcasts all the time.  His keynote was tailored to the audience of interpreters and focused on Building a Platform.  I created sketchnotes of his presentation.  When I asked him if he would sign my sketchnotes on my iPad, he was happy to do it 🙂

I also created sketchnotes for a panel discussion on Social Media Success Stories.  The panel mas moderated by Michael Hyatt.  The panelists included Ian Anderson, Nataly Kelly, and Brandon Arthur.  They each shared unique stories and tips on using social media for the interpreting profession.

For a larger view, click the images to expand.

Michael Hyatt, Platform, Interpret America, sketchnotes, #iasummit4

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Michael Hyatt, Platform, Interpret America, sketchnotes, Focus

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Michael Hyatt, Platform, Interpret America, sketchnotes, Keynotes, #IASummit4

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Social Media, Interpret America, sketchnotes, Panel, #iasummit4

Please share and comment below.

Benefits of Journaling

Benefits of Journaling

I was inspired to write this post after I listened to a Michael Hyatt podcast about journaling.

I’ll be honest, journaling has been a challenge for me.  UGH!  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.

Listening to this podcast gave me alot of ideas for how I can be consistent and make journaling simple.  For example, using Evernote for journaling was a great tip.  Here’s a link to that podcast.

Michael said  “When I journal,  I am writing for an audience of 1.  Me.”  I loved that observation and I made this sketchnote to visualize it.

For a larger view, click the image to expand.

journaling, michael hyatt, sketchnotes

Do you keep a journal?  How’s it working for you? Please share and comment below.

Testing, Testing, 1 2 3

Testing, Testing, 1 2 3

I can never hear enough good business advice.  I love to hear it and I love to share it 😀

Are you having challenges with a new concept for your business, or experimenting on new products?  Whatever it is, never give up.

Everybody makes mistakes, what is important is to learn from those mistakes.

Thomas Edison said: “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Here is a quote I heard from Patrick Snow.  He said “Test and Measure, Trial and Error“, then he repeated it for emphasis “Test and Measure, Trial and Error.”  I was inspired to draw this image to capture the idea.

Patrick Snow is an international best-selling author of the book Creating Your Own Destiny: How to Get Exactly What You Want Out of Life and Work.  He is also a publishing coach, internet entrepreneur and one of the featured talents at Speaker Match’s podcast.

For a larger view, click the image to expand.

test and measure

What important lessons have you learned at being persistent in work or in business? What are you testing out right now?  Please share and comment below.

The Golden Rule About Communication

The Golden Rule About Communication

Charlotte Beers, has been featured in Fortune magazine as one of the most powerful women in advertising.  During the Massachusetts Conference for Women, she shared some the secrets she learned in the business world.  For women to succeed, they must use powerful communication skills.  Check out the video.

In her new book “I’d Rather Be In Charge…” (affiliate link) she created a guide on how to clearly present yourself at work.  Charlotte  shared this “golden rule” of communication during the conference: It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear.

For a larger view, click the image to expand.

its not what you say

What has your work experience taught you about communication?  Have you ever experienced what happened in the picture? Please share and comment below.

 

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