After a highly successful 2011 event, this year we’re taking the Annual Meeting & Conference out to the Wild West. DEAM12 will be held in Scottsdale, AZ at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Last year, I wrote a post called 7 Ideas for Making the Most of Your Annual Meeting & Conference, but now that we have a change of scenery and a lot of new features, I wanted to share some additional tips to maximize your experience.

Grow your network
“In fact, face-to-face networking is among the best ways to improve your professional life. Unfortunately, most of the time it stinks.”

This is one of my favorite excerpts from The Unbeatable Recipe for Networking Events, authored by workflow and productivity expert Robby Slaughter. This book is an excellent and quick read. One of his many great suggestions to make networking more productive is to create a list of goals for yourself including:

  1. The number of people you want to meet (five is a good target)
  2. he names of any people you expect to see that you want to greet
  3. The answer you will give to the question, “Is there anything I can do for you?”

He also shares some quick phrases to help start conversations:

  • How did you get interested in this field?
  • What are your plans for this year?
  • What is something most people don’t know about what you do – but probably should?
  • (How was / any big plans for) your weekend?

With well over 200 attendees, you will have a lot of opportunities to connect with others and test out these networking ideas. Our Member-exclusive online community, Pipeline, can also help keep you in touch year round. We also have a LinkedIn group dedicated to the conference as well.

Get mobile
This year we have launched a mobile option for attendees that enables them to receive timely updates throughout the conference such as times, changes, important updates and more. The best part is you can sign up now! Simply text DEAM12 to 55678. In addition, we’ll also have ongoing assistance via mobile. Just text DEAM12HELP to 55678 followed by your question. (Example: DEAM12HELP Where are the restrooms?)

Be social
The official hashtag for the conference is #DEAM12. Be sure to include it in your tweets or other social media posts (Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook for example) so others can follow the conversation and keep up with what’s happening at the event. An easy way to follow all of the #DEAM12 tweets is via the #DEAM12 TweetChat.

We’re also looking for anyone interested in being interviewed. These interviews are crucial for us to help develop content for blogs, videos and initiatives such as the Social Jobs Partnership. If you are interested, please text DEAM12Help to 55678 and indicate that you want to participate in an interview. (Example: DEAM12HELP Interview sign up)

If you are a little bashful in front of video cameras, then consider contributing to the Help Wanted Campaign. All you have to do is fill out a sign with advice for job seekers or positions to fill and jump in a photo booth to snap your photo. There’s even a section for your Twitter handle. Be creative and feel free to do more than one… there may be a prize!

Check out the DEAM12 website or conference program at the event for more details. We also have a #DEAM12 Twitter chat scheduled Thursday, 10/17 from 2-3 PM EDT (please RSVP). See you soon!

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