Are you getting excited for Summit with the Body Positive Fitness Alliance? Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or new to the inclusive party, making the most of attending any conference or event requires some strategic planning and active participation. We’ll walk you through all the strategies to ensure you get the most out of every session, networking opportunity, and interaction while at Summit.

Pre-Conference Preparation

To get the most out of Summit, or any conference, there are a few things that can be done prior to the event to make the experience that much better..

  • Review the schedule to identify sessions and speakers of interest. This will help you think about what you would like to get out of each session and any possible questions you might have for presenters.
  • Set goals. What are your reasons for attending? Set a goal for what you want to get from Summit.
  • Pack essentials. Remember to bring a notebook, pens and any technology you may need. Other essentials may include business cards, chargers and snacks to keep your energy levels up during sessions and networking breaks.
  • Download the Discord App. Join the conversation and connection with board members, presenters and fellow attendees on the Discord app. Prior to Summit we will be sharing some summit information, having conversations that will help you connect and expand your professional network, and organizing a Friday evening meetup for those arriving early.

Active Participation During Sessions

With a full schedule and a lot of information being shared, it’s essential to stay focused and engaged during sessions.

  • Take notes. Note taking helps you actively engage in sessions and also helps in retaining information and referencing it later.
  • ⭐️ HOT TIP ⭐️ The Action Item List: Combat information overload by keeping an action item journal. Leave the last 5-10 pages empty and jot down any “aha” moments or action items you want to implement immediately when you get home. This ensures you stay focused and don’t get overwhelmed by trying to tackle everything at once.
  • Ask questions. There will be time in every session to ask questions so be sure to jot down questions you have, and don’t hesitate asking questions to clarify doubts or seek further insights.
  • Network during breaks. Connect with others during breaks between sessions. This is a great time to network with fellow attendees, speakers, and exhibitors.

Utilizing Networking Opportunities

Networking can be intimidating, especially for introverts, but here are a few tips to help you remove anxiety and instead build connections and expand your professional circle.

  • Introvert-Friendly Networking: If large crowds and small talk aren’t your forte, try initiating one-on-one conversations or participating in smaller group discussions. This summit makes it easy since we are limiting attendees for a smaller, more intimate setting.
  • Be approachable and open to initiating conversations with others. A friendly smile and a genuine interest in others’ work can go a long way.
  • Follow up. The often most overlooked and one of the most vital parts of networking is in following up. Now that you’ve connected with people, be sure to follow up with an email, phone call, text or even a video message so that you can continue to build relationships over time.
  • Looking for more strategies? Pick up Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port to refine your networking approach and make meaningful connections.

Connecting with Sponsors

Our sponsors play a pivotal role in making this conference possible, so don’t miss out on opportunities to engage with them.

  • Show Support. Visit sponsors’ websites, sign up for their products/services, follow them on social media, and make a point to chat with representatives in person. Building relationships with sponsors can lead to valuable partnerships and opportunities down the line.
  • Collect materials. We suggest collecting brochures, business cards, and other materials from exhibitors for future reference. Jot notes on the brochures – like names or thoughts – to help jog your memory when you return to them later.
  • Share! Sharing is caring. Share sponsor information on your social media or with those you know that might benefit from the products and services from our sponsors

Post-Conference Reflection and Action

As the conference winds down and you head back to the daily grind, it’s crucial to reflect on your experience and take actionable steps moving forward.

  • Immediate Action Item List: Resist the urge to dive into all your notes immediately. Instead, if you created that Action Item list at the back of your notebook, you can start tackling those high-impact items right away.
  • Take a few days to decompress before revisiting all of your notes and instead take some time to reflect on the experience.
  • Share insights. Share your insights and highlights from the summit on social media platforms to engage with their peers and broader community. Tag @bpfaofficial and #BPFASummit2024 for bonus points 😃
  • Implement new strategies. Think back to your experience as well as your notes and use it as inspiration to implement new strategies or ideas you learned at Summit. These can include everything from business practices to coaching cues.
  • Stay connected! Be sure to connect with BPFA on social media, sign up for our newsletter, and chat with the whole community on Discord. We offer monthly Live Learning Seminars on all kinds of topics, Monthly Mentorship hours, and plenty of support as you continue your journey as an inclusive fitpro.

In Conclusion

Summit is a place to learn, grow, be inspired and inspire others. We want every attendee to gain knowledge and value from their experience – from actionable insights and new ideas to meaningful connections and a shared love of joyful movement. We look forward to seeing you and growing with you at Summit!

This post was written and updated by BPFA Board Member Christine DeFilippis.