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Top 10 Things To Do At A Tech Conference

By Ideas Lab Staff November 9, 2012

Ideas Lab recommends the following 10 things to do at a tech conference to help you make connections and recall what you've learned.

As DC Week and Reboot America end today, thousands of people will leave with new insight and ideas about entrepreneurship, innovation and social impact. They’ll also likely leave with some observations about important things to remember when attending a tech conference. Here’s our list of top 10 things you’ll either need or want to do beyond the traditional business card exchange.

10.  Don’t forget a flash drive. Instead of waiting to email a speaker for their deck, ask if he or she minds sharing it immediately on your flash drive.

9.  Bring pen and paper. Tech is not fail-proof, so you never know when you might need a backup. A notebook and pen will help you manage your battery life and save your eyes from staring at a screen most of the day. Also, bring phone and computer chargers.

8. Use Yelp or another location app to learn the neighborhood around the festival or conference. You can find restaurants or coffee shops within walking distance or discover tourist attractions if you’re visiting the area.

7. Follow relevant Twitter accounts before the conference. Check out the list of speakers and search for their Twitter handles. This helps you correctly attribute a quote to a speaker. If you’re speaking at a conference, ask if you can include your Twitter handle on the display screen. This makes it easier for people to find you.

6. Speaking of Twitter, when you meet people at a conference, ask for their Twitter handle in addition to their email address and phone number. If you can prepare, go ahead and put your Twitter handle on your business card.

5. Always use the established hashtag when tweeting at the event. People attending the conference, and even those who can’t attend but want to follow along, will read your tweets – and might follow your account, too!

4. Use social ambient apps, like Sonar, to discover who’s around you. You’ll be surprised at the connections you can make!

3. Use a social bookmarking site, such as Bitly’s Bitmarks, to save links to websites you see at the conference.

2. Follow up conversations with people you meet at the conference. If you live in the same area, offer to meet at another common interest event or grab coffee. Or, simply follow up with tweets and emails to keep the conversation flowing.

1.  Have fun! Remember that these types of festivals and conferences are often designed with plenty of time for networking and mingling. Attend the after-hours events and don’t be afraid to ask someone about their business or interests.