This past weekend was really one of the best experiences that I have had in a long time. I could write a full long recap, but by now, I’m sure you have seen your fair share of what happened.
Here are a few awesome recaps by other lovely ladies that I think sum up the conference beautifully, so that you don’t have to read another recap at this point in the game.
What I do want to share with you are the things that I got out of traveling to Boston for the weekend. Here are my take-aways from Healthy Living Summit 2012!
Don’t worry if it is your first conference
- I’m pretty sure the most common thing that I heard from attendees was that they were nervous – it was their first conference, and they were not sure what to expect. No big deal – it was everyone’s first conference at some point in time. Take it in stride and just go with it.
Step out of your comfort zone
- Coming in to a room of people who you have never met before is daunting, scary, downright uncomfortable sometimes. Acknowledge that, and then do it anyway! The best part of conferences is that people signed up for it because they are interested in the topics that it surrounds. You have an instant talking point! If you came with a group of friends, be sure to reach out to others while you are there. Networking is one of the biggest benefits of a conference, so get out there and do it. I loved getting to know both Heather and Amanda over the weekend. They are such fun people!
Bring your business cards everywhere!
- There were a few times that I accidentally left my business cards in my rooms, and I kicked myself for it later. You never know when you might want to give one out to someone, which is tends to be almost every conversation that you have! It is easy to think that you will be able to remember the catchy blog names of people who you meet, but it is just impossible. Put a stack in every bag, pair of pants, or pair of shoes that you are using! You will not be sorry
- The biggest benefit of being at a conference with like-minded people is that everyone wants to learn and take away key points at the conference. If you have a question during a session (or even just a conversation), ASK! There is going to be no one that thinks it is a dumb question or that will not answer it.
Come early and stay late
- The conference is based on the sessions – without a doubt. However, if you are able to come a day or two before the fun starts, and then leave late the day after, I highly recommend it. The days before Healthy Living Summit provide “mini mingles”, which are really just opportunities for people to get together before all the action starts. They are smaller groups in a much more relaxed setting. They are located in great spots around the host city, which gives you a chance to really discover the place you are visiting a bit more. Staying late after the conference is over is also beneficial, as you can spend some more time with some of the people who you met over the weekend, and see some of the sites!
- The speakers really put a lot into their presentations, but they are not always readily available to post online after the conference. Take notes so that you have the key takeaways from each session. I personally preferred to tweet my way through each session. Now I have all of the notes from each session all online, and I can access it whenever I need it! If you want to see an example of what I am talking about, check out my Twitter feed, and you can see all of my notes! Be sure to jot down all of the speaker’s Twitter handles too – you can ask them questions that may come to you post conference.
Bring an extra duffel bag - or just a big suitcase
- If you are flying in, you are going to be taking gobs of goodies back home with you. The swag bags are out of control, and you are going to want to bring it all home, so plan on having that extra room available!
Do not use a flash when taking pictures!
- This just so happened to be my favorite session from the weekend. Gretchen is an amazing photographer, and has inspired me to actually learn how to use my DSLR. I have been using it for months, but sadly, I always shoot on automatic. She stressed throughout her presentation that if you learn how to correctly use your camera, you will not even need the flash. The light should be adjusted correctly to simply let enough light into the lens. I am determined to get this down.
Healthy Living Summit was everything and more that I thought it would be! Amazing job Meghann on all of the planning, and major kudos to Heather and Julie for the execution. The 3 of you all did an amazing job!! I can’t wait to go again next year!