You just finished a very successful conference, you met a lot of people, shook hands with new contacts, and everybody is still riding on a high. Now what?
The bigger concern now is how to keep the momentum alive post-conference. How to translate what participants learned from the meetings and group discussions into practical approaches that can be adopted in the office. Usually what happens in cases like these, employees go back to their respective duties—which they suddenly find their workload to have doubled or tripled—then forget the input from the conference they just attended.
Below are just some of the strategies on how to sustain the momentum days or even weeks after the conference:
Tip #1: Give Real-World Examples
Let’s face it, not every participant in the conference wants to be there. It’s more likely that they were told by their boss to attend. That means that the last thing they wanted was to listen to the speakers spout theories or lectures. One way to engage them is to tackle some practical problems using their office situation as an example. Then participants can brainstorm the ideal solution to that problem. Chances are, they will enthusiastically bring that solution back to their office for review.
Tip #2: Follow-Up with Participants
Dividing the whole room into small groups works better to get the message across compared to the participants listening to the lone speaker on the podium; this works for the most part. In the same vein, breaking down the lecture into several topics would be easier to digest. Engaging them again days after the conference is over would help reinforce the message to the participants. Of course, it’s unrealistic to have a 100% batting average in terms of participants buying into your strategy. But you’ve done your part, and that’s what matters in the end.
Tip #3: Utilize Social Media
Almost everybody has a Facebook account, so you can create a page and invite all participants to join. In this way, you remain in contact with them and keep your momentum going post-conference. This will also encourage the group, bound by common experience, to foster friendships with each other.
You can start the ball rolling by posting photos of the event, as well as uploading the lecture materials of the speakers (with their permission, of course). Group members are also asked to post their questions or concerns to come up with a possible resolution.
Tip #4: Give a Token
There are many ways to keep the interest going for the participants even after the conference is over. One way is to conduct an informal poll about what they want to retain for next year’s conference, and what they want to discard. Speakers and lecturers are also encouraged to hand out their contacts for one-on-one interaction if any of the participants will take up on the offer.
Don’t make the mistake of making your conference a one-off event. You can build on the success to even improve further next year’s conference by keeping the momentum alive using the strategies mentioned above.