Goal setting is important for any area of your life where you want to achieve success. Not knowing what success looks like means you will miss many victories. Too many people drift through their days hoping to make gains, but have nearly no points of reference on which to measure the progress.
This is true for those going to industry event, trade shows, conferences, conventions, seminars, and other business gatherings. Before you commit to attending any type of gathering you should know in advance the purpose of your participation.
There are many reasons why you might find yourself at a business event. Networking opportunities, educational sessions, seeking to spot new trends, face-time with clients / prospects, looking for a new job, etc... Any reason for attending is a good reason, and none have to be mutually exclusive of the others. However, if you have not clarified your goals, and committed them to paper, then you will not maximize the conference.
A goal not written down is simply a wish. All successful professionals will tell you that "wishing" is not a good business strategy. You need to know what you want in advance so that you can take the action steps toward success.
If you are attending a conference with co-workers or other colleagues you should have a pre-conference meeting to talk about the outcomes that you all desire. You can divide up the schedule and cover more ground separately. Then you can meet up and share what you have learned and information about whom you have met. If you have different goals, make sure that everyone from your team are looking beyond their own needs at the event.
Throughout your time at the convention revisit your goals to see how you are doing. If necessary you can change your focus, as once you arrive you might discover new opportunities that are more important of your attention.
After you return home you should review your original goals and determine if you were successful. If not, determine if it was because of you or due to some factors beyond your control.
When you are clear about the success of an event if will make your decision easy on if you should return to the same event the next year.
Have A Great Day.
Thom Singer is known as "The Conference Catalyst". He works with meeting planners and conference organizers to set the tone for a meeting. His presentations educate, inspire and motivate attendees to engage deeper in the event and make meaningful connections. http://www.conferencecatalyst.com