Just as a doctor utilizes and x-ray to peer inside, you must use metaphorical "X-Ray Vision" to uncover all that go into the creation, history and culture of the event you are attending. Peering past the flesh and getting to the bone will allow you perspective.
When the event is an "industry happening" there is more too attending than just the conference. Participating in your industry important. But if you do not look deeply you may never realize what is going on at a conference that makes it powerful. You have to show up, but that is just a start. Being in the room is not enough. Getting to know the other people and asking questions about their participation is key. Caring about the success of the event will show through.
Know who is organizing, hosting and sponsoring the conference. When you see who is putting in the time and money to ensure the success of the event you are really peeling back the layers to look inside.
Meet the event organizers. Meeting professionals who create events, manage the process and schedule the minute details are the un-sung heroes of these gatherings. The attention gets put on the sponsors, Master of Ceremonies and speakers who take the stage, but a good meeting planner is the difference between victory or defeat for everyone's experience. When you invest time to connect with the people behind the curtain, you will find more information and opportunities. There are often VIP and other special things going on that are not on the schedule. Those who seek will often find more chances to network and gain knowledge.
Paying attention and going beyond the surface level will make your conference experience more meaningful and help you discover more ROI from your participation. "X-Ray Vision" does not happen by accident, you must seek the information that is hidden from view and then put what you find to use.
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