Lucy Rosen featured in “How to Get the Most Out of IT Conferences”

Technology professionals and experts offer tips to make attending events pay off for your IT career. It’s more than just handing out a bunch of business cards. Success takes planning and follow-through.

Justin F. Bastin attends just a few conferences a year, but he still manages to parlay these occasional events into crucial career-building sessions. “As far as the value return on conferences, it far exceeds going to the classroom. I’m able to look at various technologies in different fields, and I’m able to dabble in different areas,” says Bastin, an IT analyst at The Sherwin-Williams Co. That doesn’t happen by chance, though. Bastin says when he goes to a conference, he knows what he wants to get out of it and plans ahead to make sure he hits his targets. He volunteers and networks. He has given presentations, too. As he puts it: “You get out of a conference as much as you put in.” But what, exactly, does it really take to turn conference attendance into a career-enhancing opportunity? It takes more than just showing up with business cards in hand. Career coaches, networking experts and experienced IT professionals say it’s really about being strategic and following some key steps:

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