1. Network with your peers. This is an opportunity to meet new people from other companies. It is also important to visit with prior and current co-workers or classmates and get to know them on a more personal level. These are great people to build relationships with for multiple reasons:
a. You may reach out to these people to see how their company is using a new technology or transforming into an agile environment
b. Get non-biased references or opinions about a new technology you are evaluating and thinking about implementing
c. Learn how other companies operate and what makes their cultures great
2. Invest in Yourself! You will be seen by your boss, peers and others that you network with at the conference as a person who wants to keep current with your industry and who cares about keeping up to date with technology and best practices. The educational component of a conference can expose you to new ways to be more productive. Many people who attend conferences return back to work revitalized and more passionate about their work.
3. Hot new technologies. Take time to meet with vendors. This is a great way to gain insight on what new technologies are available. You also have an opportunity to build relationships with vendors. Those vendors may be the person you need to reach in the middle of a critical project and if you know someone at that company they may be able to help get you connected to the right person to solve your problem. You can also pick up free giveaways or participate in raffles from vendors at many Exhibit Halls.
3.5 Have fun! Attending a conference should be work mixed with fun! Many conferences have activities such as happy hours, late night parties, and golf tournaments. Treat yourself to an extra day in the city you are visiting. Plan to come in town early or stay an extra day at the at the end of the trip. Mix business with pleasure and keep your career trajectory on track all at the same time.