Three Steps to a Successful Safety Conference

Three Steps to a Successful Safety Conference

In-person events are back and after a year and a half, you might need to dust off your travel bags and be reminded of the steps to a successful event.

In-person events are back! And while that is super exciting, it's also incredibly stressful for those who have not traveled in over a year and a half due to COVID-19. For those who are attending the in-person National Safety Council Safety Congress & Expo next week in Orlando, Florida, there are a few steps you might need to be reminded of in order to have a successful safety conference. Here's a few that have helped me in the past.

Create a Schedule

While this may seem like common sense, it is of the utmost importance to have a schedule at a safety conference where so much is going on and there is a lot offered to attendees. In order to ensure that you sit in on all the sessions you want to see, make a list of the top session topics that you wouldn't want to miss the chance to see live—and maybe even have the chance to chat with the speaker after the session. This will help you to narrow down the sessions that you definitely want to put in your schedule.

When creating your schedule, don't forget to keep some time open to walk the expo floor, catch up with other safety professionals at the show and stop to eat lunch! (Yes! I definitely build this into my schedule so I make sure to eat!)

Pack the Essentials

When traveling anywhere, it is easy to forget the basics, so here's a good checklist for you when traveling to NSC's Congress & Expo next week. 

  1. Take Notes. Be sure to pack something to write with and write on. While it is easy to take notes on a laptop or tablet, these items can become bulky over the day and can create unnecessary stress on your shoulders if carried around all day. Sometimes taking it back to pen and paper is the best case scenario.
  2. Comfort is Key. Again, this may seem like common sense, but be smart when packing clothing for the conference. Comfortable shoes to walk in, business casual clothing that is warm for the cold session rooms, but warm for the Florida heat is necessary as well. 
  3. Get in Touch. I've often been told that the business card is the currency of conferences. Want to connect with a newly met safety professional after the show? Hand them a business card.
  4. Mask Up. We all understand that safety is the number one priority at any conference right now. Be sure that you bring a face covering to protect yourself and others.

Speak Up

It can be intimidating to be at a conference with all the peers in your field, but the only way for you to learn and advance your own knowledge in the field is to speak up and ask questions. If you do not understand something in a technical session, ask! If you happen to run into someone on the shuttle to the show that you realize has a similar job title to you, strike up a conversation. What are the battles they are having in their workplace? You might be able to help offer a solution. You also might learn from they way they are addressing their own workplace issues.

BONUS TIP: Research the Area

Yes, you are traveling for work but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun! Research the area you are going to be in and see if there are some fun spots you can't miss out on visiting while you are in the city. While Orlando, the host city for NCS's Congress & Expo, is known for its theme parks, there is much else to do. Here's a few options from Visit Orlando

  • The Wheel. One major landmark you might want to see is The Wheel, which stands 400 feet tall at ICON Park close to the Orange County Convention Center. 
  • ICON Park. While we are on the topic of ICON Park, you might want to stop at this shopping hub to check out the Orlando StarFlyer (the world's tallest swing ride), Madame Tussauds Orlando, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium as well as many dining options.
  • Museums. Looking for something a little more low-key? Check out the numerous museums and galleries in Orlando such as Rollins Museum of Art, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and The Orange County Regional History Center and Heritage Square Park. 

No matter how you choose to spend you time in Orlando, remember that this conference is to advance your safety knowledge and further your career. If you feel like you are missing out on the best parts of the event, however, you can always check in with OH&S. We will be covering the event live at ohsonline.com/live.

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