How to get the most out of a Conference- Part 3

Get ready, buckle up, here comes a conference.  It is the big one for After School Programs the 21st CCLC Summer Institute Conference is next week!  21st CCLC Summer Institute, put on by the U.S. Department of Education: http://21stcclc.leedmci.com

 

We are personally excited for this opportunity to meet some of you face to face at the Conference.  We always love to grow our networking circle.  You can find us during lunch, visiting with our vendor friends and also presenting.  If you would like us to introduce you to anyone let us know.  As you know we are not shy!  We may know them. Or, we may know someone else who knows them.  Or, it’s a great opportunity for us to learn about someone else we need to know.   All the cool kids are networking!

 

It is time to believe in you, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and take on a new challenge!

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http://staffordlandscape.com/2018/06/ Nine Need to Know Necessities: Attending a Conference

  1. Setting Goals to Take Action
  2. Colleagues & Conferences
  3. Intentional Planning
  4. Power of Networking
  5. Conversation Starters
  6. Vendors are Valuable
  7. Believe in Yourself
  8. Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
  9. Personal Challenge

 

(Click here to see the first three tips and click here to see the second set of tips)

 

Here are the last three tips of Nine Need to Know Necessities.

Power of Networking

You are not in this alone. It is important to collaborate (learn from peers), get contacts and see how people are doing things.  You never know until you ask. Part of networking is starting the conversations and/or joining in with a conversation. It’s not as complicated as you think.  Take a risk! You have wonderful ideas to share, too! There is no cost in having conversations to gain ideas. Work on creating your own professional community. There are many people to meet. Build your awesome support team.  A strong network (support team) can be extremely useful.  The only way to find out is to ask. Share ideas! Ask specific questions. Don’t worry about “borrowing” or “tweaking” an idea.  In a beneficial network, others will take it as a compliment that you like what they are doing and are happy to share what works and did not work for them. Always carry (a bunch of) business cards to hand out. If you don’t have any, create your own (template below). Relationship building starts from small conversations and leads to trusting professional friendships. There is no right or wrong way as long as you are networking; some of our best ideas have come from our peers.  It is extremely rewarding when we can take a shared idea and make it successful across the board.  It may look completely different at each site, yet it still is meeting the needs of the students.  Network! Network! Network!  It truly makes a difference.

 

Conversation Starters

Now that you have the Who, What, When, and Why lets build upon the How.  Relationships start from common interests, that is beneficial to both involved.  You can do a bit of research by reviewing the list of attendees, vendors and speakers.  Look at nametags to see where people are from and what they do.  Make sure to use your couple of days at the conference to not only learn but to network.  Here are some ideas that may be something you are interested in asking.

Where are you from? * What type of program do you work with?  * Tell me about your program? * Engage further and ask about a specific part of the program (most popular class/activity) * How long have you been working in afterschool programming? * What is your role in afterschool?  What do you enjoy within your role/programming? * Do you have a good relationship with the school administration or administration? * When you are planning, thinking about planning for afterschool what are your hobbies/interests* Come here often?!? Have you attended this conference before? *Do you offer homework in your program?  * What is your favorite transition activity?

All of these suggestions are to be used in casual conversations-for you to build relationships.

 

Personal Challenge

Here’s a challenge for you… choose 3. To help hold yourself accountable write it down, email someone or comment on our blog!

  • Gain 5 contacts over the duration of the conference.
  • Stop by and gather information from 3 Vendors
  • Find 3 New Programming Ideas to Take Back
  • Create a tool to share information with colleagues back home that were not able to attend
  • Attend a Session Outside of your Comfort Zone
  • Create your own Challenge-Share below (BLOG)

 

If you would like to see us in action here are our presentation times :

 

If our presentation times don’t work within your schedule please take a moment to come find us to say hello.  For those of you who are not attending the Summer Institute we look forward to another opportunity to meet you.  Feel free to reach out to us!


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