I had the pleasure of attending An Event Apart last week when they finally made it to DC. This was the third time I had atended An Event Apart conference, but I feel like I absorbed the most from this one.
Leave the Laptop at Home
The last two times I attended, I brought my laptop and took notes during the presentations. Sure I learned some things, but I think other things slipped by me as I was typing. This time, I brought a pencil & notebook, and an iPad that was so graciously given to me as a Viget 10th anniversary gift.
Now, I realize that not everyone has the luxury of choosing between a laptop and an iPad, but I really only used the iPad for checking email and Twitter during breaks, so I definitely could have gone without that. I really enjoyed just sitting, absorbing, and sporadically jotting down notes when I thought it was necessary. You’ve got the slides available to download, so don’t feel like you have to write down everything that is being presented to you.
Focus on the Speakers
I know A Feed Apart is really cool, but do you really want to spend your time on Twitter while speakers are presenting? Try checking A Feed Apart during the breaks to catch up on what everyone thought about the speaker. Leave your phone alone and stop checking your email. You paid good money for the conference, so pay attention.
I didn’t even make it to the opening night party this year because Thursdays are my basketball night, but I heard about numerous people who got drunk at the party. Really people? Aren’t we all adults now? Didn’t we pay good money for this conference? If you want to go re-live your college days, don’t waste $1000 to do it. So go to the party and mingle, but please don’t get sloppy drunk; we really don’t want to hear about it the next day of the conference.