How to Find Success Before, During and After a Regional Conference

Attendees at Biola University’s 2015 Regional Conference pose together to celebrate the end of the conference. Photo courtesy of Biola PRSSA.

Maybe you’re finally on your way to a PRSSA Regional Conference or maybe you’ve already been to one. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your Regional Conference experience.

Before: Prepare
Preparing yourself for a conference requires knowing the essentials — who, what, where and when. This information can be found in the program, which is usually posted online and contains information on speakers, presentation topics, times and locations. There may also be other events scheduled during the day such as luncheons and networking opportunities that you should be aware of. Come prepared to represent yourself to the best of your ability. Utilizing table etiquette, wearing the proper outfit and bringing up-to-date business cards and résumés are great ways to make a good first impression.

During: Focus
The day of the conference has arrived. With your best outfit and networking tools — you are ready to start the day. Before beginning your conference activities, it is necessary that you are energized enough to remain focused and on top of your game. There’s no simpler way to do this than indulging in a well-balanced breakfast. There’s a reason it’s known as the most important meal of the day.

When gathering for the first activity, it’s easy to just stick close to the members of your Chapter. But make sure to branch off and introduce yourself to professionals and members in other Chapters. Becoming comfortable with other attendees and guests at the beginning of the day gives you a head start in the networking process. And this is the time to put those business cards to good use.

With the events well under way, maintain your focus by taking notes, asking questions and hydrating frequently to keep your mind alert.

After: Follow Up
After all the networking, valuable public relations advice, and interactions with fellow PRSSA members and professionals, the conference has finally come to an end. Yet, you don’t have to stop the conversation. Follow up with your new contacts, share your sentiments of the conference online and let the PRSSA community know how you will use your newfound knowledge in your Chapter’s initiatives. Make sure to follow PRSSA online for updates in the industry and information on the next event.

What are your tips for experiencing a successful Regional Conference?

Alexis Montoya is a member of the Rochester Institute of Technology PRSSA Chapter. Outside of academia, you can find her playing her ukulele and writing poetry. Connect with Alexis on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter @mon_toya_ or email her at

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