As we approach the 2011 PRSSA National Conference in just a few days, I decided to do a post on my best tips for students for National Conference.
I'm VERY excited for National Conference and it is one of my favorite times of the year. This will be my third National Conference and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you guys and my fellow National Committee members.
Best practices for Conference:
- Do your research on Conference! Read the Conference Program and Agenda and know where you want to go. Get to sessions EARLY because sessions do fill up! Know what sessions or networking events are coming up next so you are prepared for the next event and aren't running around asking "what's next" or "where am I supposed to be?"
- Branch out! I know you want to stick with your Chapter members because that is who is familiar, but get to know other students and hang out with other students and professionals. One of the main points of Conference is to network and build your connections. Talk to other people and sit with other people!
- Chapter members should attend different sessions. Another one of the main points of Conference is to bring back information to your members who could not attend. Make sure your Chapter members attend different sessions so you have different notes and so you cover every aspect of Conference!
- Dress appropriately. This is a professional Conference. Professionals will be there. It is business attire for every session and every single day. Stilettos will kill your feet and short skirts will look inappropriate. Wear comfortable shoes you will feel good in all day and look your absolute best.
- Bring your resume. We have a career exhibition at Conference! Professionals from companies WILL be there to talk to students and to take resumes! The National Committee will also be handing out information related to our individual initiatives as well. Come see us!
- Go out and see the area! Don't skip sessions to do it though. Your university, your parents, your money, etc. are paying for this Conference. You will have PLENTY of time to see the Orlando area after sessions are over for the day.
- Attend coffee sessions with PRSA. This is a GREAT time to network with PRSA members from around the country. Network, be professional and be ready with some things to talk about. 7:30 a.m. – 8 a.m. Coffee Break with PRSA on Monday, Oct. 14.
- Follow @PRSSANC and @PRSSANational. We will be sending out Conference reminders, updates, notices, etc. from these accounts. Follow these accounts for more information!
- GET SOME SLEEP! Every day will be a long day! Try your best to get the sleep you need at night so you are refreshed and prepared for the next day. No one will want to talk to you or network with you if you look sleepy, cranky or hungover.
- Follow-up after Conference. Share your notes with your fellow Chapter members, write a blog post on what you learned, tweet things during the Conference that you liked from the speakers and follow-up with people you met. There is no reason to collect business card unless you put them to use and build relationships with those people.
Additional posts on the PRSSA Blog to help with Conference: