6 months on, are you putting in place the things you learned?
What industry insights or trends have followed through from the conference?
With conference themes and thorough session and expo curation, up and coming industry trends experienced at the conference can become entrenched in your day to day without you having noticed. What outlooks did you conceive at the conference and have carried through with you all these months later? How have they affected your interaction with your industry? Have they spurred further interest in your industry or supported you in doing good business?
Look back at your list of contacts – who has stuck?
Looking back at your list of prospective leads, good networking opportunities, planned and impromptu meetings, which of these contacts have turned into solid leads, committed clients or simply good friends in the business world? You may have been communicating with them for some time now and forgotten that your first interaction was at that crucial conference. Perhaps some of them could even do with another follow up email.
Did a team member find their feet because of a conference?
Perhaps you yourself are a seasoned conference goer, but for a first time attending team member, the conference was what they needed to find their confidence in their field. Maybe it was through shared insight, an inspiring connection or from dedicated hours speaking to prospective clients and marketing your product that brought them back to the office a force to be reckoned with.
Did you meet your goals? Did your conference offer something other than what you anticipated?
Consult back to your company agenda going into the conference in the months before. Looking back now, did you meet these goals? Whether it was for company exposure, a product launch, better communications, or investigating a new market – did the conference help achieve this? Or positively or negatively, did it offer a different outcome in addition or in place of your initial goal?
While positive outcomes for the above are indicative of a successful conference, the cost of attending a conference warrants bringing into the debate as to its success, especially after enough time has passed that the effects should be starting to bear monetary fruit. Kristen Steagall from Axial writes on the importance of a considering both direct and indirect expenses – being sure not to forget the valuable time spent preparing for a conference as well as the conference costs themselves; being sure to measure on site effectiveness at a conference – by keeping track of scheduled as well as unscheduled meetings; successful and ineffectual ones; and then using this to calculate the real generated value vs. an accurate costing to find your ROI. Read more here.
As Priory Solutions’ makes commitments to the conference season of 2016, evaluations such as those outlined above help not only to look back but also forward to whether next year is worth a return visit, and if so, how best to capitalise on the time spent out of the office.
For our related article ‘How conference savvy are you? 10 Tips’– click here.