Make the most of your OGF conference experience

September 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

It’s 57 days and counting until Philanthropy Forward ’12 begins: if you’re not one of the nearly 250 people who have registered so far, head over to the website today to register using a credit card or to print and mail your form and check.

Whether you’ve registered already or plan to do so this week, it’s not too early to think about what you want to get out of this year’s conference, the first-ever gathering of individuals and organizations involved in Ohio philanthropy. Here are a few ideas for how to get the most out of your conference experience this year:

  1. Attend deliberately. If you’re like me, registering so far in advance means you’ve likely forgotten what sessions you signed up for. Review the schedule before you get to the conference  — our online session descriptions have all the details on the topics to be discussed, speakers, their bios and organizations – so you can make sure you go to the sessions that will be most helpful to your work.
  2. Nurture your networks. One of the main reasons people come to the conference is to network with their peers from across the state. And, this year, with an expanded list of attendees that includes individuals, giving circles and United Ways, our structured and informal networking opportunities present a new and unique chance to widen your professional circle of peers. Meet some new folks and catch up with those you’ve known for years.
  3. Grab all the resources you can. You can’t be in every session so make sure you stop by the learning lounge on Wednesday, visit the vendors, peruse other attendees’ materials  displayed in the exhibit area and pick up a flash drive of conference resources.
  4. Take some time off. We’ve added “white space” intentionally in this conference, time for you to reflect on what you’ve heard so far and refresh for the next session. If you’re an early riser, take a walk with your peers at 6:30. Grab a box lunch and sit informally with colleagues at lunch on Wednesday. Tuesday night’s Roll out the Red Carpet event, with food, drinks and short documentaries, is another great place to relax, as are the Wednesday night dine arounds.
  5. Take lots of notes. Whether you dictate key takeaways into your smart phone, tap them into your iPad or use old-fashioned pen and paper, jot down the ah-ha moments as they come, so you can reflect on and use them once you’re back in the office.

See you at Philanthropy Forward ’12, in Cleveland, on November 13 – 15.

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Entry filed under: Annual Conference 2012.

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