CONNECT: How to Make the Most of a Creative Conference

Apr 30 2014

by Kate Spears

So I must begin this post on a sad note…since I will not be in attendance at the latest installment of the Southern Coterie’s lineup of events, a.k.a. The Southern C Summit – Charleston. For those of you who are going, feel oh so lucky because many other folks (including yours truly) would love to be in your shoes!

For those who aren’t, I feel your pain.

But whether you are attending the Southern Coterie’s latest summit or hoping to attend the next one, it’s important to approach any sort of creative conference with the right frame of mind. After a few years blogging and attending events such as this, I’ve learned a thing or two.

Here are my tips for how to make the most of a creative conference.

1) Be Yourself – Seems simple enough, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting other folks to like you so you take on some inauthentic persona. Don’t do that. Be your beautiful, amazing, creative, brilliant self. Folks will love you and if they don’t, who needs ’em?

2) Don’t Make it All About You – Creative conferences are wonderful for networking, but there’s a way to do this well. Don’t be that person who is only looking for what they can get out of the experience. Look for ways to bring something of value to others’ experience too.

3) Practice Your Elevator Speech – You might only get a moment to meet someone new. Be confident and have your elevator speech ready (delivered in a genuine, natural way of course). Know who you are and what you’re about.

4) Ask Questions – Presenters have worked hard to prepare for this what’s sure to be an incredible event. Sit near the front, be attentive and ask questions. They’ll be happy to answer and engage with you!

5) Say Thank You – So many great people work really hard to put events together and it’s great to let them know you appreciate their efforts. A simple thank you goes a long way!

And a final tip I’ve learned the hard way, follow up! After a great event like the Southern C Summit, you’ll feel so excited and ready to tackle that next stage. Don’t forget to follow up with folks you meet and keep in touch with them. Who knows when there might be a collaborative opportunity down the road.

I hope everyone enjoys the next few days and please keep us all posted on social media so we can live vicariously through your experiences!


Kate Spears View More Blog Posts from this Author

Kate Spears is a self-proclaimed Southern belle who grew up in a tiny town near Nashville, but now calls Knoxville home. She graduated from the University of Tennessee (Big Orange Country!) with an undergraduate degree in art history and a master’s in public relations & advertising. In 2009, she started her blog, Southern Belle Simple, with the simple hope of giving herself a creative outlet. She continues to be amazed each time it leads to a new opportunity and cherishes the relationships that are formed along the way.

Kate is passionate about family history, time-honored traditions, and her Southern heritage. Her people hail from across the South, from the Lone Star State of Texas to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She grew up spending summers on her great-grandparents’ Tennessee farm where she developed a deep appreciation and admiration for people who could coax beautiful and delicious things out of a mound of dirt. She comes from faithful men, devoted women, hard workers and wickedly good cooks.

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