Make the Most of Your Summit!

One of the things we hear time and again each year after our Summit concludes is that, in addition to the great content from the breakout and general sessions, the connections made with other attendees are a huge benefit of attending.

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We want to help you make the most of this year’s Summit. Beyond the formal networking time, here are some suggestions to walk away with connections that will benefit your work and your own professional development:

  • Start with a plan. What are you hoping to get out of the Summit? What do you want to learn? What type of connection would support your professional goals?
  • Scan the attendee list in advance. FCAN publishes the attendee list right on the event website so you can see in advance who will be attending along with you. Scan the list to see who works for organizations that you have been wanting to connect with so you can be on the lookout for them at the Summit.
  • Target key workshops with speaker expertise you seek. Introduce yourself to speakers before or after the session to follow up with after the Summit if needed for a deeper dive or more information.  Summit speakers are happy to share their resources and expertise to help other communities succeed!
  • Practice Givers’ Gain. Help colleagues and others who are attending connect with some of the attendees they are hoping to meet. You are more apt to find people willing to help you do the same!
  • Make some new friends. While it’s tempting to sit with colleagues you know, especially at lunch, the Summit is all about sharing ideas. The best way to walk away with new ideas to try is to sit with someone you don’t know and learn from their experience.
  • Use in-between time. There will be 15-minute breaks in between each session so there is time to connect with workshop speakers and others in the audience before and after your session that allows you to go deeper on a topic and exchange business cards to follow up with a call or email after the Summit.
  • Bring business cards! This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many times even experienced professionals leave their office on the way to a conference and forget to replenish their stack of business cards.  

The FCAN team is also here to help. While we won't know every attendee at the Summit, we can often connect you to colleagues who can be helpful with ideas, connections, and camaraderie. This year's Summit is expected to be our best one yet! Come with a plan and walk away with ideas and connections that can help you take your work to the next level.

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