SNDLOU: Five tips from last year’s conference chair

SNDLOU week is here! To get you ready, Michael Tribble of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (and organizer of SNDCLE) gives five tips for making the most out of your time in Louisville.

Michael Tribble, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Michael Tribble, Cleveland Plain Dealer

1. Separate the message from the action Speakers are there for a reason. They represent the best talent in the industry. Chances are, you don’t … yet. Keep in mind the key to what they are saying is the process not the result. How did they get to where they are? How can I use their learnings (and their failings) to accomplish my goals? Take notes on what inspired you and highlight the most inspirational ones so you don’t forget later.

2.  It’s about dialogue, not monologue Ask questions: During sessions. In the hall. At lunch. At the bar(s). In the bathroom (timing is key). In hotel room after-parties (again, timing is key).

Research the speakers. Try to reach out to one or two — in passing, at an event, at the bar(s). Don’t do it right after their session when a swarm of others will be doing the same. If you can’t catch a minute with them, reach out by email the week after and ask if they’d mind answering a question or two.

Talk to people. Introduce yourself to as many folks as possible. Find those who can help you and discuss your ideas, your challenges and your goals. This weekend is a great opportunity for you to build a network that you will not only learn from, but grow with as well.

3. Plan your experience … Multiple sessions you want to see will run simultaneously. Schedule your time in a way that you can attend the sessions most important to you but have the flexibility to jump sessions when the mood strikes.

… but not too much Stick to your schedule, but don’t bail on that great one-on-one conversation with a speaker or industry leader in order to rush off to a session you’d planned to attend. Those moments are what make SND weekends most valuable.

4. Pack light Yes, bring your iPad, MacBook Air, Samsung Galaxy, Moleskine … just don’t bring them all. Keep it simple and you’ll stay more focused (and less annoying to those around you). And remember, sometimes the best spot in a session is on the floor (especially when a power source for your device is nearby).

5. Don’t let the inspiration expire Make the most of what you’re seeing. It’s a great weekend, but it needs to be a building block for you. And be sure to pass it on. Not everyone gets to attend enhancement opportunities. This is your chance to not only improve yourself, but help others as well.

5.5. Get involved This is a great organization and there’s a place for you. Find Stephen Komives, an officer or a board member and say you want to help.

To register for SND Louisville, click hereTo view the full schedule of events at SNDLOU, click here.