Graduate Management News

September 2015

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Make it Happen: Five Tips for What to Do After the Conference

A monthly feature offering tips to help you improve your productivity and get the most out of your day.

Professional Development Tips

You’ve just wrapped up three or four amazing days of learning, networking, and schmoozing, and now you’re thinking about all the work that lies ahead. Conferences are always overloaded with information, so when you return to work you may wonder how to unpack it all and make the most of your time as you settle back into your routine. As you begin to re-acclimate, consider the following tips:

  1. Share your knowledge, both internally and externally. Others on your team who were not able to attend your event can benefit from what you learned. When you return, start off by sharing what you gained while it's still fresh in your mind. Write up a short report or present your learnings in a short PowerPoint presentation, maybe during a brown bag lunch session. Consider writing a blog post as a way to share your knowledge with your industry colleagues. This is also a great way to give back, while at the same time reminding others who attended the conference to follow up with you.

  2. Prioritize key takeaways and action items: You probably took copious notes, so as you consolidate, process, and organize them into one document, take this time to come up with a list of actionable takeaways. As you go through your notes begin to prioritize how you plan to put your most important learnings into action. Think about what resonated and how you can use what you learned to do your job better.

  3. Connect online with people you met: Within a few days of the conference, be sure to follow up with anyone whom you feel could be a valuable contact. Send an email and/or connect on LinkedIn. Send a personalized message that expresses something related to any conversation you had at the event. Take care of this task when these conversations are still fresh in your memory.

  4. Say “thanks” and provide feedback. Take some time to email the event producer of the event to say “thanks,” but also to offer feedback. As you think about what feedback you might provide, use the opportunity to evaluate whether the conference was the best fit for you. Was it too small? Too big? Were the speakers bringing new ideas to the table? And if your employer paid to send you to the event, make sure you thank them as well and reiterate the benefits you gained. A little gesture goes a long way.

  5. Follow through. Finally, be sure to follow through on any promises made during the event. Take advantage of your post-conference enthusiasm and momentum to make sure you send your follow-up emails, connect with new colleagues, and write up that conference summary before other work commitments take over.