10 Tips for a Great HOW Live experience

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You’ve bought your conference tickets, booked flights, confirmed hotel room and  are eagerly awaiting the start of the 2013 HOW Live conference. We have good news: it’s finally here! HOW Live kicks off this Sunday evening and we wanted to share a few tips  to make the best of your conference experience.

#1 – Have a strategy: want do you want to get from your time at the conference? How do you want to spend your personal time while in San Francisco? There are so many great sessions and events happening at once, it can be easy to lose sight of what you came to accomplish. You can still be flexible with your time, but make sure you get the most out of your attendance.

#2 – Network ! Meeting and connecting with other attendees is just as important as attending the sessions. These new connections might turn into new gigs  and they will be the people that help you solve problems and keep the creative juices flowing throughout the rest of the year. Even if you don’t land a gig, you may gain a new mentor or friend.

#3 – Pick out the sessions you really want to attend, but  have some back-up options. . It’s good to have a plan in place, but stay flexible. Also, don’t be afraid to leave in the middle of a session. If you’re not getting what you wanted or expected, jump into one of your back up sessions.

#4 – Bring a lot, and we really mean a lot, of business cards! You’d hate to lose touch with one of your new connections because you had no contact information to give them.

#5- Want to attend a studio tour, extra workshop or lunch round table? These carry an extra fee and fill up quickly, so if you haven’t already make sure to sign up for one now.

#6 – Bring a notebook! Pen on paper people. You will attend so many sessions, there’s no way to remember everything you hear, so take notes!

#7 – Explore the bookstore. This is a great time to flip through some of the books you’ve been eyeing in HOW’s Design Shop online. Plus there are usually some pretty great conference discounts!

#8 – Keep an eye on what’s happening in real time on social media. Follow HOW on Facebook and Twitter, or the hashtag #HOWlive. Conference speakers, organizers and other attendees will be sharing what they’re up to before, during and after the conference.

#9 – Take a look at the exhibitor list. Are there any vendors you need to make sure you get more information from for a major purchase next year or an upcoming project? This is the perfect time to get all the information you need.

#10 – Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everyone, including the speakers, is there to learn, connect and be inspired. This doesn’t mean you have to stand up and ask a question at the end of the session, even though that would be great, but if you see a speaker you really enjoyed walking around don’t be afraid to stop and strike up a conversation.

Bonus tips:

#11 – Download the Mohawk Live app! Powered by Aurasma, it’s the latest in augmented reality technology. Mohawk has a ton of great giveaways and makers featured in their booth throughout the conference, #1709, and Mohawk Live is the best way to get the first look at what’s happening.

#12 - Check out the “‘How to HOW’ for HOW Newbies” podcast, by HOW Live speakers Stefan Mumaw and Cami Travis -Groves, for more tips on having a great conference. (Thank you to reader Cami for the submitting this great link!)

Attending the conference? We can’t WAIT to see you! If not, stay tuned and we’ll be sharing our impressions from HOW Live 2013. (Any maybe even sharing some Mohawk swag…)

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