9 Tips on Getting the Most out of a Conference
4. Connect with speakers and attendees before the conference
So now you know which bloggers are speaking, reach out to them on Twitter and tell them how excited you are that you'll be seeing them in person. Follow the hashtags of the event, and connect with fellow attendees. Especially do this if you're going alone: you might even make a friend even before you turn up at the event, and you'll be less scared awkward standing alone.
5. Pay attention and take notes
Because your memory isn't going to hold everything you hear, trust me and write down (or type in) everything. You not only want to make sure you follow up on what you learn, you might also have want to make a report to the folks back at the office.
Excuse me for sounding like a school teacher, but participate in the class! Ask questions, raise your hand when the speaker asks for volunteers for exercises or role-plays. (But don't be that obnoxious guy who has a question in every session and can't shut up once he gets the mike in hand. Only speak up if you actually have something to contribute.)
7. Tweet and blog
I am a big believer in live-tweeting sessions. For one, it's something to do when a session isn't all that riveting. You share the knowledge with folks who might not be attending (and it's a nice way of bragging that you are). Third, as long as you're using the hashtag, other people in the conference will follow you.
What's a little more work but very effective at getting you more visibility, especially among fellow attendees and speakers you link to, is to blog (or even better, live-blog) the sessions.
This is especially for fellow introverts: don't sit quietly in your corner during the sessions and hide in the restroom during lunch hour. Between sessions, talk to people near you in the conference hall. Sit at a stranger's table at lunch. Just for one day, pretend you're not an introvert at all but that you actually want to talk to other people.