How to Bottle Your Conference Glow

If, like me, you follow journalists on Twitter, then you’re familiar with the monthly river of posts with hashtags from the latest industry conference. Journalism conferences are like revival meetings minus any talk of the Divine. The faithful leave with a great glow — which lasts all the way till you get back to your desk, back to Inbox 2,000 and the note from your boss saying, “Please come to my office.”

Doesn’t have to end that way. Here’s how to bottle that glow and make it last till next year:

Take good notes: While you’re at the conference, email yourself a daily note with links, ideas, names of people to follow on Twitter, books to read and skills to learn.

Set goals: Compile your notes into a learning agenda. List three to five items to pursue between now and the next year’s conference. Examples might include launching your own web site, learning a programming skill, or lifting your writing skills.

Make a reading list: Use your favorite feed reader to follow blogs and sites related to the skills you’re learning.

Revisit the agenda: Six months after the conference ends, go back and look over the agenda. Catch up on what the presenters of your favorite sessions have been up to.

Make vital connections: Go beyond following people on Twitter and seek out people to network with. Share your ideas, struggles, wins. Look for meetups in your area or opportunities to coach others to share your skills.

Those are my ideas. Yours?

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