How do you multiply value from attending the EMEA Congress this year?
All conferences and technology festivals I have been to specialized in a specific field of technology or market, which I deem not to be my core field of expertise. Attending these events, I took the initiative to learn from the best. It helped me to put the work I was doing as PMO into perspective. Most importantly, my communication with experts on projects has become more effective. I believe this was mostly due to the fact that I made an effort to show genuine interest in the complex work they were doing.
That will be different this year at the PMI EMEA Congress. It’s a first for me to attend a PMI Conference. I am expecting an energy boost; a wave I want to keep on surfing. The difference now: the subject matter of the conference is not the field of expertise my current project as PMO is embedded in (Logistics and Flows). I expect limited enthusiasm of the project team in receiving detailed conference reports or being confronted with a healthy portion of PCSD (post-conference stress disorder - John Bonini offers some advice to avoid afflicting your team after such events in his blog post).
I thought about three things that will help me to preserve my enthusiasm, share my experience bit by bit, whilst not afflicting anyone around me:
1. Commitment from management to present my top 5 take-aways in 4 weeks time
Advice and expert knowledge picked up from speakers, workshops, or conversations during a conference tend not to have a daily-news-type expiry date. I requested to present to management a couple of weeks after the event, sufficient time to step of the conference roller-coaster, reflect on what I have experienced, and bounce back some ideas with project team members.
Furthermore, „knowing you will be required to present the information you are gaining at a conference with the team back at the office can help you focus on takeaways and practical interpretations of what’s being presented, instead of what you don’t like or the lacking presentation skills of the presenter", as Lee Odden puts it in his blog.
2. Create and populate a diary of quotes, pictures, slides, notes, and key take-aways
I have set up a digital workbook, which will let me organize all the data I collect, including business cards that will be exchanged. I want to be able to refer back to a given information instantly. Setting up the workbook prior to the conference lets me populate it live and at the end of each day, so nothing slips my mind.
3. Multiply the value of the conference by sticking to some established advice
Scanning some very useful blog articles on how to make advice stick, it's all about sharing your experience in any form suitable to your target audience, formal or informal. As a project manager I know you are trained in knowing what words, voice, and situation to choose best to get your message across. A coffee or a lunch sets a good scene for me.
Do you have any advice on how to multiply value from attending PMI EMEA Congress? Comment below and let the community now.