Conference season is here in full force. After a one-to-two-year break from in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be challenging to navigate the slew of mortgage conferences that hit the industry each fall.
For some, conference season never stops. In a recent episode of the Housing News podcast, HW Media CEO Clayton Collins talked with EscrowTab’s Vice President of marketing and communication Amy Moses to get her perspective on making the most of mortgage conferences. She shared her insights as both an experienced conference-goer and planner. This year, she is assisting California MBA with its conferences, so she brought a unique and helpful perspective to the topic.
While you pack for the next mortgage conference, we’re unpacking some of Moses’ top tips for your most productive conference season ever
1. Have a plan in advance of the conference
You booked your flight and hotel, but don’t stop there. Take a closer look at the event agenda. Which sessions are you prioritizing? Do you have meetings while you’re there? Some conferences may have scheduled parties and cocktail hours after the main event, so make sure you’ve RSVP’d for those if required.
“Like anything, preparation is key, right?” Moses said. “ Taking time to understand the event which [can be] really hard to do – especially when you’re hopping from event to event – is to dig into the event that’s coming up. What’s the schedule? Who’s going to be there? If you don’t have the attendee list, do some informal networking to determine who will be there, and how you can maximize those opportunities.”
And if you’re really Type-A, study both the city and conference venue maps. This will save you unneeded mileage in uncomfortable shoes. On that note, don’t forget comfortable shoes!
2. Take advantage of built-in networking opportunities
We know – event conference breakfasts are incredibly early. But they’re also a wonderful opportunity to sit with a table full of people you may not know. Once the coffee kicks in and the conversation starts flowing, you may discover that you’ve made some meaningful connections.
“There’s a lot of people [who] don’t do that. They’re in their room working up until the last second and then rushing in,” Moses said. “Try to find those pockets of time that the conference has built in for you to have informal conversations, I think this is one of the huge keys.”
At some events, this could include lunches or other specific times the event planners have laid out for networking. It’s tempting to squeeze in work doing those windows of time, but try your best to stay present. It may reward you in the long run.
3. Actually attend the sessions
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re feeling called out, it may be time for introspection. While networking, working a booth and going to parties are all productive in their own right, don’t forget the actual meat of the conference. With many of these conferences being hyper-focused on certain segments of the industry, you have the opportunity to walk away with valuable insights that can further your career.
“I encourage people to carve out time to attend a couple of hours of content, whichever sessions you think will be most applicable to you because it is really rich,” Moses said. “… I feel like so many people just do not get their money’s worth out of an event because they aren’t attending enough of the sessions.”
If you want to step it up even more, put the phone away and take notes! Work will still be there when you get back.
We’d love to hear how you prepare for and get the most out of your mortgage conferences. Let us know in the comments below if we missed anything!