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Make the most of that conference

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in Workplace Communication

At your next professional conference, balance the time spent in formal sessions with informal time talking to others in your field.

Three ways to reap the benefits of a conference, beyond the tracks:

1. Hallway huddles: Between sessions, build relationships with smart people working in similar roles.

2. Round-table discussion: Pull up a chair next to new people at every meal.

Sometimes, you’ll get more from these sit-downs than from a formal conference session.

3. Party talk: You’ll be tired. But resist the urge to head back to your room at the end of the day. Make a beeline for that new, interesting person you want to meet.

To get those hallway and meal-time conversations started, ask the other person something related to the conference, such as, “What do you think of the speakers so far?” suggests Eduard Ezeanu, founder of Conversation Starters.

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