Great Simple Advice to get the Most from Business Conferences

An email from Trevor Lohrbeer, (if you come to BoS you will recognise him as the guy in the Fedora), with some brilliant advice for first time Business of Software Conference attendees to get the most from the event.

 During the photo walk and the opening reception, I talked to several people attending BoS for the first time. Since this is my 6th year, I was asked for advice. I came up with the following:

Business of Software is about two things: the content and the people. The content you can access later, the people you can’t. Both can change help you radically improve your business. Therefore:

  1. Learn from Attendees
    Write down a list of your top 3 challenges. Make it your goal to find people at the conference who have had these challenges and overcome them. Ask them how they did it. Or, for those in the process, ask them how they are doing it.
  2. Connect with Attendees
    Business of Software is about kinship. Drop your guard, connect with others. Ask about personal lives and passions outside of work. Don’t worry about connecting with everyone. Find those people who you resonate deeply with. If you can find 5 people at BoS like this, you’ll have had a fantastic conference.
  3. Act on Insights
    Pick 3 talks that apply the most to your business today. Aim to leave each talk with 1-3 actions you can take immediately after the conference (by the end of September) that will improve your business. Take notes not merely to remember concepts later, but to imprint key concepts on your brain and inspire new ideas, even if you never review your notes later.

Combine these by using Paul Kenny’s exercise from a few years back: write the 1-3 actions you will take after the conference on a piece of paper, share it with another person who will be your accountability partner. Tell that person to check in with you on October 1st to ensure you took the actions you committed to taking.

Do these actions, and you’ll have a fantastic and valuable Business of Software.