It is that time of year! Once again, we are less than a month away from the NACE Conference & Expo, and this year it will be held in beautiful San Antonio, TX. I look forward to this conference every year as an opportunity to reconnect with and meet new colleagues and friends.
Each year, I find myself returning from the conference recharged and ready for an innovative and successful year of career coaching at Texas A&M. If you have not registered to attend this “can’t miss” professional development opportunity, I urge you to visit naceweb.org immediately. If you are like me, then your career is probably begging you for some nourishment. Don’t ever neglect your career nourishment folks.
For those of you who have already registered, don’t wait until you arrive in San Antonio to prepare. I recommend following these steps in order to make the most out of #NACE14:
1. Begin your networking ahead of time.
- Join the Twitter conversation with the hashtag #NACE14.
- Find the list of current attendees by logging into MyNACE.
- Join the NACE group on LinkedIn. Start conversations and get to know your colleagues early.
- And if this is your first NACE conference, please attend the First-Timers Session on Sunday, June 8.
2. Plan your schedule.
- NACE has implemented a new tool called NACE14 Itinerary Builder. Where have you been all of my life? This tool has allowed me create a tailored agenda just for me. I love things that are made just for me. I feel special, don’t you?
- Research the keynote presenters. If you are like me, you buy every book available. Be familiar with who is speaking ahead of the conference and reach out to say hello. Welcome any and all guests to our “FAMILY REUNION.”
3. Brush on your networking skills.
- One of my favorite books on networking is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Keith actually spoke at a NACE conference a few years ago. I urge you to never break bread alone at a conference. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone else attending the conference. Great friendships are made over coffee. I promise.
4. Follow up after the event.
- As you travel away from San Antonio, don’t let your experience become a distant memory. Return to your office and immediate send thank-you notes to speakers NACE staff and president, and the amazing #NACE14 co-chairs. Pull out those business cards you received and connect with those folks on LinkedIn or Twitter.
5. Implement what you learned.
- Be very careful not to let your conference notes get dusty. We all have a tendency to return to work after a conference and immediately jump back into old habits and the surge of e-mail.
- Host a lunch and share what you learned with your office mates. Ignite energy in those who work with you based on what you learned.
- Start a conversation on the NACE LinkedIn Group page to keep those relationships and ideas growing.
I cannot wait to meet all of you at #NACE14. Register today and get ready for a great time in San Anton. And don’t forget to pack your proper attire for the Diamonds and Denim Celebration on Tuesday evening.