How to get the most out of your next conference

first_imgMany of us are fortunate to attend conferences hosted by CUNA and other organizations. To get the most out of the event you attend, follow these strategies to manage your time, attention and energy.Network in advance – before you attend the event review the attendee list, set up appointments with people in advance, follow conversations  (and hash tags) on social media – get to know other members before the event officially starts.Pack smart – I am the first to pack many stilettos and make sure I wear every pair, but know you will be walking long hallways, standing around for many hours and smart footwear is a must (ladies try wedges, they look cute and are really comfy).Pack light – choose a neutral color palette for basic pieces and pop with accessories to minimize the number of outfits you need to take.  If you want brilliant packing tips for your conference read this great advice from Megan Kristel at Kristel Closets.Hydrate regularly – Air conditioning, late nights, and bad food choices mean it’s more important to drink even more water than you think you need. Carry a water bottle and fill it up constantly.Review agendas – review agenda and speakers in advance, know which sessions and social events you want to attend, what you can skip and determine what you will pack.Pay attention – please be kind to everyone, and give them your attention. Tip well, take care of hotel staff and be generous with everyone you meet.Save energy – the first day of the conference is usually exciting and everyone is full of energy and by day three people are worn out from late nights, maybe a little more socializing than usual and sitting in artificial lighting. Manage your energy and know when you can skip sessions, take a nap or just get outside in the fresh air.Work out daily – yep even if you have to get up early, don’t compromise your workout. Even though you think you will be too tired, it is so worth staying committed even if a walk outside is all you can manage or a walk on the hotel treadmill. Take care of yourself.Say no – confidently say no if you don’t want to attend a session or you are in a session that doesn’t work for you, leave it. If you don’t want to go to an event, and want to recover in our room, do that. Be conscious of what you say yes to and reserve your energy when possible.Have fun – the conference or your Credit Union’s annual event is often the one time a year you get to see colleagues and have fun celebrating the accomplishments of those in your Credit Union and in our industry. Savor every moment and relax.Schedule follow up – after the event write handwritten notes to those you met, connect on LinkedIn, follow people on Twitter and schedule follow up calls to continue to leverage the connections you made.As a professional speaker I often attend conferences (as the keynote speaker and I also attend as a guest in my industry),  it’s always fun to watch people connecting with each other.Attention is all about connection. Manage your energy and you will make your next conference a productive event. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Neen James Think force of nature. Boundless energy. Timely topics. Laugh out loud fun. Eye opening ideas. Take-aways that ACTUALLY create positive change.  Sound like what YOU’RE looking for? Then Motivational … Web: www.neenjames.com Detailslast_img read more

Kiffin’s indecision is blessing in disguise

first_img“Inside the 20s” runs on Tuesdays. To comment on this story, email Nick at [email protected] or visit dailytrojan.com.Follow Nick Selbe on Twitter @NickSelbe When USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced on Saturday that, after months of evaluating redshirt sophomore quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, he was still unable to name a starter for the season opener, my initial reaction was to brace myself for the immediate, Twitter-induced backlash that predictably followed.Fans and media members alike were quite unanimous in their disapproval of the embattled coach’s great indecision, feeling that someone already on the perceived hot seat did not need this kind of start to an apparently make-it-or-break-it season.The criticism surrounding the extended quarterback competition has mostly come from those who believe that Kessler has outplayed Wittek for the better part of the offseason. The media’s coverage of Kessler’s perceived edge over Wittek has created a wave of fan support for a quarterback that most have never seen play a meaningful college snap.As someone who has watched a handful of practices this offseason (say, between five and 10), I would have to agree with the masses that yes, Kessler appears to play better than Wittek most of the time. Based on what relatively little football knowledge I possess, he seems to make fewer mistakes and deliver accurate passes more consistently than Wittek, both in practice and during the team’s scrimmages.But here’s the problem with that line of thinking: I don’t know anything about football compared to USC’s coaches, and I’d be willing to bet that neither does the rest of the media or fans weighing in on the Trojans’ quarterback battle.Kiffin and the rest of the staff spend an enormous amount of time around their players, so the brief window that us outsiders have to watch the competition unfold for ourselves pales in comparison to the wealth of information Kiffin has to evaluate which player is best for the job. Who knows if Wittek stands out in team meetings, or if Kessler works harder in the weight room, or even if either actually had a better practice on a given day. Because it’s the preseason, and each player has little to no game experience, we have a very small amount of evidence on which to base our opinions.When it comes to these types of decisions, it’s great fun for everyone to throw in their two cents, but the reality of the situation is that all of us are virtually just guessing. We don’t see what goes on behind the scenes (and now that in-season practices have been closed, everything will go on behind the scenes), and frankly, we are  ill-equipped to decide for ourselves which player deserves to start against Hawaii. But fans who read how much better Kessler has played than Wittek use that knowledge as more ammo against a coach who they are already looking for reasons to dislike.Kiffin’s refusal to name a starter has irritated USC fans everywhere, and I admit that I was initially perplexed when I heard the news. But after giving it some thought, his decision to hold off should be encouraging to the Trojan fan base.The easy thing for him to do would be to simply name Kessler the starter and see what happens, as he would have the public’s opinion on his side. But when college coaches or professional sports team owners begin making decisions to appease the fans rather than to help the team win, that’s when you know the team is in trouble.Kiffin could have gone with Kessler and made everyone happy, but he didn’t. Some believe his supposed favoring of Wittek is because of Wittek’s NFL body type: he’s 6-foot-4, 235 lbs. and has perhaps the strongest arm in the Pac-12. Kessler is 6-foot-1, 215 lbs., sturdy by normal means but small by NFL standards.Maybe Kiffin really thinks that Wittek’s best attributes are his height and arm strength rather than his performance, but the point is that he has not named Kessler the starter because he does not yet believe that Kessler gives the team the best chance to win.That is what’s so heartening about Kiffin’s decision. Though nearly everyone who follows the team believes his job is in jeopardy this season, Kiffin isn’t letting all the chirping get to him. If he were, Kessler would be the team’s starter already. The fact that Kiffin has the ability to not let speculation about his job security affect his decision-making should be applauded, not condemned.Kiffin’s detractors are aplenty, and they all have their reasons. But among them should not be that USC’s head coach is a slave to popular opinion, for he has proven that clamoring from outsiders merely falls on deaf ears.last_img read more