Here are some things you can do at a Massage Conference to maximize your investment of time and money.
At the Conference:
1. Have a list of questions handy at each workshop you attend and cross them out as they get answered. If the speaker doesn’t address your specific issues, it is your responsibility to ask.
Many speakers also make themselves available after their presentation to answer specific questions, so don’t be shy about taking advantage of this. They will let you know if there is someplace else they have to be.
2. Do not underestimate the power of peer-to-peer networking. For example, I have seen many mentor/mentee relationships develop at conferences, where a more experienced therapist is only too happy to share her knowledge with someone just getting started in the profession.
With this in mind, do make it a practice to sit next to someone different at each meal, as well as at the presentations, and get to know them.
3. A good attitude to have when it comes to networking is to be a detective when you are listening to someone and try to find a need they have that you can meet. For example, you could tell them about a resource that might help them, or better yet, look for other therapists at the conference that you could introduce them to. People love that.
4. Do have a daily goal of how many business cards you will collect from people you have met. But don’t just collect them for the sake of it – connect with the person first, then write brief notes on the back of their card so that you will remember them. Ideally jot down what they need or a way you can help them.
In the next post I’ll address things that you can do when you get home from the conference. Till then…