Get the most out of The Exchange Community 2016
Whether it's your first conference or your fifth, here's a helpful guide to getting the most out of The Exchange Community (TEC) Sept. 7–9 in San Diego.
We've pulled together a list of what you can do to prepare before, during, and after the conference. With everything TEC has to offer, you'll know how and where to spend your time wisely.
Before the conference
Review the schedule of events.
Check out the conference schedule, and reserve your seat in sessions and activities that look most beneficial to you. The most successful conference-goers prioritize things they want to do while leaving some room for spontaneity. Maybe you'll hear of a session topic unrelated to your field but think it could be interesting. Need a place to start planning? Take a look at these recommended session tracks.
Create a list of people you want to meet.
Make the most of networking while you're amidst a hub of industry thought leaders. Do some quick research here and on LinkedIn beforehand to see who's going, so you don't miss out on a new business connection or a beneficial relationship down the line. Use your CSM or PSM to make introductions, help you find someone you're looking for, or be of assistance to you before, during, and after the conference.
Remember the essentials.
Don't miss an afternoon because you had to leave to buy an extra charger at the last minute. Be sure to pack the necessary electronics and accessories, as well as your business casual conference attire, clothes for the gym or a night out, and don't forget to wear your conference badge at all times. Business cards are also a good idea to have on hand. But don't worry if you're running low—the TEC mobile app makes it easy to share contact information between attendees. Watch your inbox for the TEC app download instructions and activation code a week out from the conference.
During the conference
Diversify your courses.
At a large conference like TEC, you don't want to walk away feeling like a one-trick pony. Make sure you're attending sessions outside of your comfort zone and making the best use of your time by checking out everything we have to offer. The week in San Diego is about polishing your existing skills and gaining new ones. That said—you shouldn't be working 24/7 either. Relish a few days out of the office, and enjoy the evening events—especially Thursday night aboard the USS Midway.
Get to know your neighbors.
In each session and at the evening events, you're going to meet new people. Arrive early to find a seat and to network and chat with your neighbor. Also, don't stay attached at the hip with familiar attendees. You'll double your contact list by being open to meeting new people.
This one almost goes without saying—a huge reason for attending a fantastic conference like this is to learn from your peers, industry thought leaders, and the Workiva staff. At the end of the conference, you should walk away with new and improved Wdesk skills that you can incorporate in your daily tasks back home to make life at work easier.
Join the conversation.
A great way to interact with other attendees—and those wishing they were in San Diego—is to use social media all week. Use #WorkivaTEC16 in your posts, and watch for conference updates from us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Get free stuff—and CPE credits.
You may already know, but you can earn up to 15 CPE credits at The Exchange Community. In addition, if you track your TEC tokens in the mobile app, you can redeem them for cool swag in the Workiva store.
After the conference
Make time to review your notes and key takeaways.
Chances are you'll experience some information overload during and after the conference—this is totally normal. After you've settled back into the office, take some time to review your notes and slides from your favorite presentations. Test yourself to see what you remember from the conference, and reflect on what you'd like to improve. Your CSM and sales representative is always there to help, as are your new colleagues and the Wdesk Community.
Maybe you forgot that one Wdesk trick Shannon from Colorado taught you or you want to pursue a lead on your next business move. Either way, following up is crucial to get the most out of your time, connections, and overall TEC experience. Send a few friendly emails to your new friends and maybe even connect on social media.
Now that you're a more seasoned Wdesk user, it's time to put your news skills in action. Share this new information with your coworkers and team members who missed out on the trip, and tailor it to your business needs.
The Exchange Community is less than a month away, so check tec.workiva.com for regular updates and announcements. And if you have specific questions, don't hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
See you in San Diego!
About the Author
Mitz Banarjee is the Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. Over the past 10 years, he has been heavily involved with technology companies of all sizes at an operational level driving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.