When you're at a conference it's easy to keep energized about the amazing new ideas you've found that you're going to put into practice as soon as you're back at work. But then you get back to the office, start digging out your email inbox, and that energy can start to fade.
If you want to make sure those great concepts come to life, try these 6 approaches for getting traction on your ideas.
1. Tap into the conference resources webpage
A quick way to pick your energy up after a conference and start thinking about what's next is to review the resources speakers shared. They're a good way to refresh your mind on the key points you heard in-person or even check out content from sessions you wanted to see but couldn't make it to.
Plus, many speakers submit additional materials for posting after the conference, so there'll be even more on the resource webpage a week or two after the event than there was during the conference itself.
2. Grab a coffee and share with your colleagues
Sometimes the best way to keep your energy high after a conference and commit to an action plan is to simply share what you learned with others. Some people do this as a presentation to their team after they get back to work, but also consider a more personal approach. Grab a coffee with a co-worker or two and talk about what you learned and how you want to bring it into your own work. They can help you find new ways of looking at your ideas and might even be willing to help you implement them too.
3. Come up with a 30-60-90 plan
It's amazing how simply breaking down a large task into smaller, bite-sized ones can make it feel less overwhelming. That can work just as well for making your new conference ideas actually happen. Right after the conference ends take the one or two big projects you've been inspired to take on and break down what it'll take to get them going into a 30-60-90 plan—what you'll do in the next 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. Coming up with that plan while you're still psyched up from the conference can help give you the energy to get it done, and then when you get back to work you'll already be all set with your game plan for the next three months.
4. Keep in touch with your conference connections
The connections you make with people at the conference can be some of the most important things you take away from the event. They can help you further explore concepts from the event, troubleshoot problems, and even provide a sounding board for your future ideas and plans. So keep those connections going right after the conference ends so they'll be strong for the future. Email people whose business cards you picked up, follow attendees and speakers you liked on Twitter and LinkedIn, and make some appointments for touch-base calls or Skyping with people who made a real impact on you at the event.
5. Do some experimenting (and work out loud while you do it)
You might not know exactly how to accomplish your conference-inspired ideas just yet. That's okay. Give yourself permission to regularly spend a bit of time experimenting and tinkering with those skills, projects, or strategies until you get them to where you want them. Better yet, also share these experiments with others (in-person at your organization or even online). The people you share with might be able to help you out, and you never know what you'll be able to inspire in others.
6. Sell the right people on a new idea
In most organizations you're going to eventually need to get other people on board with new ideas to make them happen. So first, be targeted. Who would best be able to help you get these ideas going, is most likely to get on board fast, and/or has the influence to remove barriers? Try talking to them first. And when you do, don't focus your pitch on why you like the idea... focus on what they might like about it and what problems they have it could help solve.