Summer is almost here and while it seems far away now, fall will be right around the corner. Our team is already in full conference mode and preparing for upcoming events, including DirectEmployers 2013 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM13), taking place this October in sunny San Diego, California.

In preparation for the busy conference season ahead, we’ve put together some tips to help you get the most out of the events you may attend.

Make Plans Pre-Conference
We’ve got a great agenda this year, jam-packed with a number of can’t-be-missed sessions in our recruiting, compliance and leadership tracks. To make things a little less hectic, plan out which sessions you wish to attend ahead of time. This will give you more time to network, browse the expo hall and enjoy the experience!

Share the Knowledge Post-Conference
In order to bring what you learned back to the office (and to ensure that you are approved to come back next year), provide your supervisor and fellow department members with a write-up of key takeaways and suggestions on how you can implement them in your organization.

Put Your Smartphone Away
While it may be tempting to check email on your mobile devices every few minutes, try turning them off during the sessions and direct all of your attention to the event. You came to network and learn—wait until breaks or later in the evening to catch up on your emails and work tasks.

Part Ways with Your Team
Attending with your co-workers? While it may be tempting to stick together, try splitting up and attending a variety of sessions. Be sure to take notes and share the knowledge with one another post-event. There may be some really great tips to be acquired from sessions you might otherwise have missed.

Take Advantage of Evening Social Events
If you have a free night, take the opportunity to take in the sights of the area with your new connections – head to dinner or enjoy the nightlife as a group. Bonding over shared experiences could lead to beneficial business opportunities in the future!

Join the Conversation
From asking questions during the Q&A sessions to getting involved through social media, being conversational is crucial to getting the most of your experience. If there is something you want to learn from a speaker that wasn’t covered in the presentation, don’t be afraid to ask. And tweeting with the designated conference hashtag is another way to connect with other attendees, while sharing points of the presentations that resonate with you. Get a conversation going and make plans to meet up!

Bring and Collect Business Cards
Networking is a major component of attending a conference. The quickest way to share your contact information with another attendee is to swap business cards. There are also great apps available, such as CardMunch, which enable you to capture images of business cards with your mobile device and add the information directly to your contacts list. Post-conference, connect on the various social media networks and reach out with a simple, “It was nice meeting you and I look forward to staying in touch” message. A little goes a long way!

DirectEmployers will be at many upcoming conference include NACE 2013 Conference & Expo, HCI Strategic Talent Acquisition, SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition and the 2013 ILG National Conference. To see all events we’ll be attending, presenting or exhibiting, visit our Network with Us page.

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