In this day and age, there are conventions for just about every industry imaginable.  Pick a day of the week, any city, any major hotel, and more often than not there is convention or conference occurring.

In Monday’s New York Post, Brian Moore has outlined a number of ways to maximize time spent at these events (full disclosure – I appear in the article).

I attend my fair share of conferences and conventions every year to watch clients deliver keynotes or participate on panels.  Regardless of industry, there are definitive do’s, and don’ts, at any event.  The article has some great ideas of how to maximize your investment, both financial and time, when attending these events.

At every conference I have ever attended, a few individuals always stand out, and not in a positive way.  The behavior is always similar – and yes, people do notice.  Here is a list of convention and conference don’ts:

1) Don’t treat the convention like a bachelor/bachelorette party – what happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas- smartphones have ended that forever.  Sloppy behavior in a professional setting rarely leads to positive outcomes.

2) Don’t determine no one is looking – someone is always looking!  Picking food off of a buffet with your fingers, leaving a dirty plate next to a serving tray, spitting food on the floor (yes, I’ve seen it happen more than once), etc.

3) Don’t have “Paparazzi Eyes” – nothing is more insulting than talking to someone as they gaze past you to see if someone “more important” is on the way into the room.

4) Don’t use your phone while someone is presenting – having conversations while a presenter is speaking is not fair to the presenter, and is disturbing to other participants.

5) Don’t assume the biggest name in the room is the most important to your business.

6) Don’t waste the opportunity.

7) If the speaker or presenter is interesting – don’t be shy, tell them!

These are just a few tidbits from attending too many events.


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