Here’s How To Make The Most Out Of Conference Season
Mortgage conference season is officially upon us, and MLOs across the country are marking their calendars, packing their bags, and preparing to grow their knowledge and professional networks.
Of course, if you’re attending one or more conferences this year, you’ll certainly want to make the most of it. But before adding anyone on LinkedIn, you likely need to do a little preparation.
Here’s how to set yourself up for success:
Pack all the right materials
To avoid any last-minute trips to the nearest retailer, start planning your packing list well ahead of time. Ensure you have professional, weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable shoes, and, of course, plenty of business cards printed up. To keep yourself comfortable during those longer sessions, a branded reusable water bottle is also a nice touch.
While you’re at it, give thorough consideration to the note taking method that works best for you, personally. Will you need your laptop? If so, perhaps add a portable charger and travel bag to keep it safe and secure to the list. Or, do you prefer pen and paper? If so, you’ll want to stock up on notebooks and working pens before you even find yourself needing them.
You may also want to determine how you’d like to store your materials after the fact. For example, if you decide on a file folder for each conference, fill one out and leave it on your desk before you go. That way, you can place all relevant documents inside before you even have a chance to misplace them.
Make a plan for networking
Of course, mortgage conferences are many professionals’ favorite avenues for networking. After all, when else will you find so many industry professionals in one place? You’ll certainly want to make the most of it.
Begin by researching the various speakers and presenters. Make note of any panels or sessions that seem particularly applicable and bookmark the industry pros you’d most like to connect with. These contacts should be your priority, but don’t forget that there are sure to be many incredibly talented attendees, as well. Take advantage of networking events hosted by the mortgage conference, chat with fellow conference goers in the hotel elevator or in line for breakfast, and otherwise make a point to put yourself out there.
You can also consider posting on LinkedIn before the event starts, to gauge which members of your network are also planning to attend. This may be the perfect opportunity to catch up and reconnect.
Develop a follow-up plan
It’s no secret that as soon as you’re back home, reality tends to set in and day-to-day responsibilities start to overshadow reflecting on what you learned. Prevent any post-mortgage conference distractions by developing a clear follow-up plan.
Perhaps schedule a few hours on your calendar throughout your first week back to go through notes, connect with new contacts on LinkedIn, and reach out to any professionals you made a commitment to. This might also be a good time for a reflection post on social media, which will both drive engagement and force you to think through what you learned and clarify your key takeaways.
While your networking strategy should take place in the long-term as well, scheduling some initial work to get the ball rolling is critical. After all, before you know it, you’ll be gearing up for next year’s mortgage conference.
Gearing up for mortgage conference season
Whether you’re primarily looking to connect with mortgage professionals or learn something new, conferences offer opportunities for you to grow and evolve as a professional. Just a little preparation when it comes to your packing list, networking plans, and follow-up can help you truly make the most of it.
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