5 Techie Tips for a More Engaging Conference Experience

5 Techie Tips for a More Engaging Conference Experience

When I venture to Dallas this April for the Great Place To Work® Conference, it will be my third rodeo (pun intended!). At Salesforce, we're delivering social and mobile cloud technologies that create a more transparent, collaborative and fun experience for our employees that we think contributes to our being named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the past 7 years running—and in the Top 10 for the last 2 of those years. So, in the spirit of creating a more engaging experience for all conference attendees this year, I wanted to share my top 5 techie tips.

  1. Download the Great Place To Work® Conference App

    Plan your attack right from your phone. The conference app has all the sessions and speaker bios right at your fingertips, and I'm told there will also be more interactivity with the sessions in the app this year. Take advantage of the app to check out where you want to go next before leaving your current session. Using the app is a whole lot less conspicuous than pulling out the full size brochure and leafing through it while wedged between two other attendees in a packed session, and a whole lot more fun.

  2. Connect with others on the spot

    The sessions are fantastic, but there is also a ton of great action in the halls, at meals and in the break areas. If you meet someone you want to stay in touch with, send them a connection request on LinkedIn immediately. Trust me, you will lose business cards and/or forget to follow up. You can also follow speakers on Twitter and follow the pages of companies you learn about and admire on Great Rated!TM, LinkedIn or Facebook.

  3. Join the conversation

    If you hear an inspiring quote or great idea during a session, why not share it with others on your social networks? Don't be shy. Tweet it up! Make sure to @mention speakers and their companies so they feel the love, and of course, use the event hashtag – #GPTWconf

  4. Follow the hashtag

    Sign in to Twitter and follow the event hashtag #GPTWconf to see what other attendees are talking about. By doing this at my first conference, I learned you do not want to miss the Kimpton Hotels session. Apparently, it's always a crowd pleaser. And, as mentioned in Tip #3, people will be tweeting their favorite quotes and ideas from sessions, so the Twitter feed for the hashtag is a like a CliffsNotes version of the whole conference.

  5. Take notes on your phone

    People are always furiously jotting down notes in notebooks, on the brochures and on scraps of paper throughout sessions, and I have to wonder if any of those notes ever get used. I'm guilty of taking volumes of handwritten notes and never doing anything with them when I get back to work. Lately I've been taking notes on my phone's notepad instead. Notes on the phone are easy to refer back to and/or to share with others when you get back at the office, or better yet, do a quick copy and paste and email ideas to colleagues right away.

    I'm looking forward this year's conference and to sharing actionable insights in the session I'm co-presenting with Ana Recio, SVP Global Recruiting at Salesforce, titled: "Disrupt Everything: Use Culture, Technology and Analytics to Win the War for Talent". We'll be talking about what culture is, why it matters and how to build it. We'll also share why most HR technology doesn't work in a social, mobile, and connected world, and how to start using analytics to make smarter talent decisions. Are you ready to get disruptive?