Conference Tips for Churches
I’m exhibiting at the Texas Ministry Conference on Feb 20th and it got me thinking about my conference tips. I hope you enjoy these suggestions, let me know what suggestions you have!
For many people, conferences can be both a blessing and a curse. They give you the opportunity to develop new skills and learn strategies that you can use in your church, and they also provide you with the chance to meet new people and expand your community. Unfortunately, they also pull you away from your church and they cost money, so it’s important that you get the most out of any conference you attend.
Here are some tips to help you come away from your next conference feeling motivated and energized, rather than overwhelmed and exhausted.
Plan Your Sessions
Almost all conferences announce their activities—including keynote speakers, workshops, daily sessions, and networking events—ahead of time. Not every keynote speaker and workshop will be relevant to you and your church, so to save yourself from wasting time in a session you don’t care about, make a note of the sessions and events that most interest you. If an event requires registration, make sure you register ahead of time so you’re not disappointed when you get to the venue.
With so many people at one event, you’re sure to run into someone who can offer you an opportunity. It could be a mentor or someone who provides services you might need. Take enough contact cards and promotional materials (brochures, pamphlets or whatever your church uses) with you so the people you meet can contact you after the conference is over.
Take Time for You
It can be easy at a conference to spend your days in sessions, your evenings networking, and your free moments checking emails and dealing with issues back home. That will leave you overwhelmed, frustrated and tired, and you won’t get as much out of the conference. Make sure you get a full night’s sleep, so you’re rested and alert for the next day’s events. If you have a few quiet moments, take those for yourself so you have a second to breathe.
Even better, plan breaks into your day. Just because you’re at a conference doesn’t mean you have to attend every event. Trying to take everything in to get the most out of the conference can backfire because you’ll be so tired you won’t get anything out of the later sessions. Don’t be afraid to be selective about the events you attend.
Pick an Action Step After the Conference
It’s tempting to go to a conference and come away with a ton of information and skills that you want to use right away. You feel energized by what you’ve learned and you want to implement it all as soon as possible. That can lead to you making too many changes at once and giving up when making the changes becomes too difficult. Instead, pick one or two things that were the most relevant to your church and that you feel you can implement without too many obstacles.
Church conferences are a fantastic way to develop skills, learn new strategies, and improve your church processes. By following a few easy tips, you can make your next conference an energizing learning experience, rather than an exhausting ordeal.