Whether you are a seasoned conference attendee or a first timer, you’ve likely spent a few hours gawking at the multi day and quite jam-packed conference schedule attempting to plot your game plan. For those who have successfully conquered this monumental task… seriously, kudos to you! I’m coining you “An Overachiever.”
If you have not even glanced at the schedule because you are still deciding which shoes to pack in your trusty suitcase, DON’T PANIC! There is absolutely no need to scramble to achieve said status. You’ll quickly discover there are a variety of options—many of them overlapping—and there will be an instant when you have a sudden panic attack. This will likely occur when you aren’t able to fit in every single session that appears to be absolutely amazing and will miss an important detail. It happens to everyone, even an overachiever.
You will enjoy and will get much more out of your time at the conference if you do not get sucked into the FOMO mentality. For those who do not follow the lingo, FOMO = Fear of Missing Out. Take a breath and choose a session that looks interesting. Seriously, anything! Every committee meeting, forum, and educational session will deliver useful and interesting nuggets. The nugget could be useful content that impacts your life or business immediately or in the future.
There will be overlapping sessions, overlapping committee meetings, and even overlapping happy hours and parties hosted by companies and vendors. Don’t get wrapped up in the fact you have to go to everything. The FOMO struggle is real. When you bounce from event to event or session to session without time in between to linger, I believe you miss out on the most important aspect of attending the national conference: meeting and learning from your peers and having the opportunity to engage offline. It’s okay to miss out on another session to take your education or conversation to the next level.
If being everywhere is important to you, then the next step is critically important. Establish a game plan with other colleagues in attendance—divide and conquer, then meet up post-conference to compare notes. Yep, I said it… split up and sit by someone you’ve never met. I have witnessed groups travel together to conferences and be inseparable the entire time. While it is great to connect periodically through the week to touch base and compare notes, use this time to your advantage and get to know brokers and REALTORS® from across the U.S. or even from around the world. The real estate transaction, marketing efforts, and negotiations are often wildly different state to state and can vary greatly within different markets within the same state. Take this opportunity to discuss a new concept or ask your newfound real estate pal about their business. You’ll likely walk away with a few new ideas to implement, especially if their take on business does not mirror the typical approach in your marketplace.
Lastly, this is a perfect opportunity to meet a colleague IRL (in real life) that you have been stalking online for months. Don’t be shy! Send a private message about buying them coffee or a drink to connect. Use this opportunity to take online conversations offline and get a glimpse of their conference highlights. Oh, and be sure to follow the conference hashtag #NARannual, but most importantly breathe and have fun!