I’ve been to many ministry conferences. In fact, I’ve been to every WFX Conference & Expo except for the very first and sat in workshops, taught keynotes, as well as exhibited in their expo. I’m sure you feel much like me after a great conference: a bit overwhelmed, behind from the work you neglected while away, and yet still so grateful that you were there.
You invested a lot into going: airfare, hotel, conference fees, meals, and your own personal time (that’s incredibly valuable). Let’s make sure you don’t throw it all away! We need to be good stewards of every conference we attend!
Here are 4 tips for getting the most out of a conference. After you attend and return back home:
1. Reach out to people you’ve met.
Hundreds of churches attended WFX so you had many chances to find likeminded people in a session or on the expo floor. I hope you exchanged contact info! However, just because you were friendly and got a cell number or email address, doesn’t do you any good. It’s the fellowship you can experience AFTERWARD that can be a blessing. Contact them and remind them how you met — then ask them if you can pray for them about something specific or if you can chat about something you heard. Even better? Hold each other accountable to improving in ministry. Be a friend. It’s networking at it’s finest.
2. Review notes and prioritize.
Whether it was a few things you jotted down in the margin of the WFX booklet or full digital notes you made on your phone or laptop, pull them out and review them. Overwhelming is the feeling right?! Instead of forgetting EVERYTHING that hit you while at the conference, choose 3 things that you want to change or improve in your world. Better to do 3 things than get bogged down by too many notes. Create 3 small signs with mantras you’re going to work on and place them at your desk so you see them regularly.
3. Contact exhibitors or reply to them.
You probably ran into someone on the expo floor that you need to follow up with. If they’re good exhibitors like most WFX exhibitors, you’ll get a followup email from them to remind you of your conversation. I know what you’re thinking: “but I don’t need them right now”. Exactly. But still start a relationship with them. Be honest if you’re going to wait for awhile or if you really need another solution because of your budget. You may be surprised they have that solution — and they’ll contact you when you’re ready. We all know it’s difficult to find a good vendor we connect with. If you found them at WFX, be sure to develop a relationship (every sales person knows there’s lead time before a sale — use that time to learn from them!)
4. Open a calendar and set goals.
Most importantly, take your top 3 notes (from above) and determine necessary steps required to reach the end goal.
Be specific, ensure they’re measurable, challenging but obtainable, and can be placed on a calendar to be achieved. Then, to ensure you stay on track, let your new WFX friend know your goals and ask for followup and accountability. Need to purchase something to help you? Contact exhibitors and let them know your expectations and timing.
Ah, the power of going to a great conference like WFX Conference & Expo!