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10 Pro-Tips to Prepare for the MPACE Annual Conference

Monday, November 25, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Dale Stoker
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Each month the MPACE Professional Development & Education Committee highlights trends in the career services and recruiting profession from industry leaders and peer publications.

The following was written by Dale Stoker, Assistant Director of Employer Services at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA.

10 Pro-Tips to Prepare for the MPACE Annual Conference

The MPACE Conference is a great opportunity to expand your mind with new ideas, learn best practices, and network with like-minded professionals. This year’s conference will take place December 11-13, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey Bay, CA. With so much happening at the conference, taking efforts to organize ahead of time is the best way to maximize your experience. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a new hire, keep these tips in mind as you prepare to be inspired, shift and act
- this year’s conference theme!

Before the Conference

  • Review the conference program ahead of time, especially the breakout sessions, and create a schedule based on the topics and presenters. Don’t miss this year’s keynote speakers, Sara Safari and Dr. Omekongo Dibinga!
  • Research speakers and attendees and look for individuals to connect. Do you want to learn more about their work, how their organization does business or discuss potential partnership? Reach out ahead of time and find a time to meet at lunch or at the end of the day.
  • Bring business cards. When you network on breaks and lunch, share them with other attendees that you make a connection with.
    • Consider making a “digital” business card directly within your smartphone contact book that can easily be sent to people you meet. Here’s a 2-minute video that explains how to do this: How To Make A Digital Business Card
  • Update your online profiles, especially LinkedIn. Ensure you have a professional picture, your current title and a list of your job responsibilities. Check out my profile and let’s connect!

During the Conference

  • Dress to impress – first impressions still matter in these professional settings. Consider wearing a company branded shirt, business casual attire or a suit with a name tag. (FYI, Monterey can be chilly in the mornings/evenings). You are representing your organization and yourself with every interaction.
  • Follow the conference on social media and post your updates using the hashtag #MPACE19. This is a great way to see what other attendees are experiencing and to build your own professional brand.
  • Take notes as you probably won’t retain everything over the course of the conference. Write down books, authors, industry leaders, and resources that are mentioned. Have a section for your action items for after the conference.
  • Network! This is the time to connect with like-minded professionals and one of the benefits of attending the MPACE conference.
    • If you are an introvert, prepare questions to ask others ahead of time, look for opportunities to engage 1-on-1 and find down time to recharge.
    • If you are an extrovert, prepare open ended questions to ask and be prepared to actively listen.

After the Conference

  • Follow up with individuals after the conference to create deeper relationships. Ask questions to learn about their best practices or to collaborate in the future.
  • Lastly, share take-aways and presentation summaries with your colleagues. Attending the MPACE conference may be a privilege for you so be sure to take time to teach others what you learned and how it could be applied at your organization.

We will see you at MPACE 2019!

Want to get involved with MPACE? Write a Trends article for the MPACE blog!

Please reach out to Dale Stoker at dstoker@calpoly.edu if you are interested in sharing your knowledge with the MPACE audience through a guest writing opportunity. The Trends Sub-committee has a list of topics that you can write about or consider suggesting one to us.

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