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So, your place on the conference is booked. You’re looking forward to attending the unique venue, but as the conference approaches, it is time to consider how to make the most of the opportunities it has to offer.

Good preparation is key to getting the most out of an event. Make sure you are familiar with all the practical arrangements, such as how to get there and where you are going to stay. Also look through all the events on the conference schedule, such as workshops or talks, and make sure you book onto those which are most relevant to you. Consider also the optional extras such as VIP passes which may allow you to attend a reception with keynote speakers.

Embrace networking because it is a valuable opportunity to make new contacts, but also find out more about both the competition and potential opportunities. These opportunities are not limited to the conference itself. There may be after parties or social gatherings incorporated into the schedule. If you are attending a conference venue with plenty to do in the vicinity, arrange an outing, meal or drinks elsewhere with those you are particularly keen to get to know.

Make the most of social media. Consider contacting other delegates before the conference, starting the conversations before you meet in person. It is also a useful way of maintaining those contacts after the event finishes.

Conferences are a useful source of information. Keep a note of anything useful you learn and do not forget to visit the vendors or sponsors section to discover the latest products, technology and services in your industry.