With IBM World of Watson just over a week away, itâ€™s not too early to ensure that you optimize every learning, networking and social opportunity. This is a vast conference with many activities, so some pre-planning will help you focus on whatâ€™s most important to you. These simple tips can help you make the most of your experience before, during and after the event.
Before you attend
Donâ€™t wait until youâ€™re on the plane or walking into the conference to familiarize yourself with the event. Take some time in the next several weeks to review the conference web site and create a personal agenda that includes the top activities you want to experience.
Plan your agenda
We have a number of helpful tools to help you easily create a customized agenda and ensure you don’t miss a thing:
Set your goals
Choose one or two goals that are the most important to you and focus on the content and opportunities that will help you reach them. Are you looking to learn something new, find a solution to a business problem, meet people and network, or find a vendor?
Find like-minded attendees
Social media can be a great way to reach out to other attendees who have posted with the event hashtag prior to the conference. Start up a conversation or even make plans to meet at the event.
If youâ€™re active on social media, and plan to post live from World of Watson, research potential influencers, follow them and retweet their posts so they are more likely to engage with your event content.
Prepare some talking points
When dining with other attendees or attending networking events, arm yourself with a list of questions to help fill gaps in the conversation and meet new people. For example:
While youâ€™re there
Once you arrive in Las Vegas, the real fun begins!
What happens at World of Watson shouldnâ€™t stay at World of Watson! Share your personal experience and insights with all of the people who couldnâ€™t attend but are following along on social media. Itâ€™s easy to build up your social and professional network by posting live from the event. Expressing your personal point of view about keynotes or breakout sessions can help establish you as a subject matter expert and boost your social profile.
Remember: Always use the event hashtag #ibmwow when posting about the conference so your content can be found easily.
Connect with speakers
The speakers and panelists at any conference are likely key experts in your fieldâ€”read: people who you want to know. So donâ€™t be afraid to ask questions or hang around (even as the last person) at a session to say hello, tell them you loved the presentation, and grab their business cards. And if you donâ€™t get a chance to ask your question in person, you can always follow up by asking them on Twitter.
Make time for fun
Your primary goal at World of Watson will be to learn as much as you can about new developments in data and analytics. But make sure you take time away from breakout sessions and panel discussions to take advantage of the lighter side of the conference. For example:
Wear comfortable shoes
This might actually be the most important advice of all. Nothing will cramp your conference style like blistered feet, so bring your cross trainers or favorite walking shoes and be ready for all that World of Watson has in store for you!
After the conference
Now that youâ€™re back at the office, there are still things you can do to continue to get value out your World of Watson experience.
Chances are you collected business cards, made new Facebook friends, and Twitter followers, and expanded your LinkedIn connections. Now itâ€™s time to do something with that information. Within a week of returning from the event, send a personal note to everyone you met to let them know you enjoyed meeting them. For those you specifically want to do business with, set up a phone call or face-to-face meeting.
Share your knowledge
Hopefully, you gained a lot of new information, inspiration, and contacts at World of Watson. Wouldnâ€™t it be great to share those resources with your co-workers and peers? Send out videos of your favorite sessions or make a presentation at your next staff meeting outlining what you learned about how to meet the challenges of the cognitive era.
Join us October 24-27, 2016 in Las Vegas
IBM Insight at World of Watson is the premier data and analytics event offering: