I just got back from Dreamforce. It has been 5 days and I can still feel the adrenaline of the city running through me. The energy in San Francisco during the conference is completely contagious as the city inflates with over 100,000 visitors over 4 days. I can honestly say I am still flying high from the rush of the week.
This is when I really start to encounter a conundrum. I learned so much, I met so many people, I had so much I wanted to do when I got back to the office. And now, I can’t remember exactly who I met, or why I got that business card or what that one really good idea was. On top of that, nothing back at the office slowed down and I am so far behind! So where do I go from here?
The first thing I always do when I get back from a conference is I answer the following 4 questions and I ask anyone from my company that attended the conference to do the same.
1. Write down 2-3 things that you would have changed or done differently during the conference.
2. Write down 2-3 things that went well and what made those things successful.
3. What was one personal win you had during the conference?
4. If you learned just one thing during the conference, what was that one thing?
Take the information you learn from this exercise and share it with the people in your company and organization that both attended and helped with any planning for your team. After that, file your findings away in a folder titled “Dreamforce 2015.” Once planning starts for the following year, this should be the first document you read.
The second thing I do is make a list of all of the conversations, sessions and things that I thought about doing when I was at the trade show, having a conversation with someone or sitting in a session. Sometimes it helps to pull out the conference guide and flip through the schedule. Doing this will remind you about some of the sessions that you attended and hopefully jog your memory for that “one really good idea you had.”
The final thing that needs to be done is make a long list of things that you have to accomplish. This should include all the work that piled up over the last week while you were co-mingling with your peers, sipping cocktails and sleeping in (just a little!) since you didn’t have to get to the office.
Now you’ll have a long to-do that includes what you want to accomplish as a result of attending the conference and everything that you need to catch up on from the time you were absent from the office. So you don’t get overwhelmed, you have to prioritize. Break your list into sections of no more than 3 items. Each chunk of 3 “to dos” should include one action item from the conference.
Then you are done! Begin tackling your list and know that what you learned at the conference is just as important as all the work your co-workers were doing back at the office. Oh, and also, you get the satisfaction of knowing that, just for one week, you got to have a lot of fun.
About the Author: Sarah is the Director of Sales at Classy. She is an avid runner, believes in getting up before the sun and is an outdoor enthusiast that has a not so-secret-but-secret-love for Fire Cheetos and Slim Jims.