Eight tips to prepare you for the National Fundraising Convention

Here Kirsty Marrins, content and community manager at JustGiving, tells you how to get the most out of three jam-packed days at the National Fundraising Convention.

| 5th Jun 15

IoF National - Kirsty MarrinsHere Kirsty Marrins, Content and Community Manager at JustGiving, tells you how to get the most out of  the National Fundraising Convention.

The Institute of Fundraising’s National Fundraising Convention 2015 is almost upon us. This year, the digital fundraising track has been refined further to bring you the latest online activities and innovation from the fundraising sector. But with three jam-packed days of networking, insights and learning from the sector’s brightest minds, how do you make sure you get the most out if it?

Here are eight top tips to make your digital fundraising learning go further:

  1. Be prepared. Choose your sessions wisely and well in advance. Sessions will fill up quickly so make sure you don’t delay in choosing which ones you want to go to or you will miss out. The convention mobile and tablet app allows you to plan ahead well in advance.
  2. Make a list. What do you want to get out of the convention? Make a list of what you’d like to learn or achieve and questions you’d like to ask or people you’d like to meet. Keep checking it to see if your objectives have been met.
  3. Do your research. Read up on the speakers and see if they’ve written about what they will be presenting on, for instance in blogs or online. This way you can formulate your questions in advance.
  4. Power up your tech. If you’re bringing a laptop or tablet, don’t forget your charger. There are plenty of places to plug in and charge your device during the breaks –alternatively, have a pen and notepad handy.
  5. Get talking. There are two official hashtags (#iofnfc and #bestyoucanbe) and free wifi throughout the conference venue, so make sure you set up saved searches in Twitter or create columns in Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. By keeping an eye on these hashtags you’ll be able to get top tips from delegates in other sessions and find new, interesting people to follow.
  6. Leave feedback. Loved a session or thought there was room for improvement? There are feedback forms at every session, so let the speaker know how they did. A lot of time is spent putting presentations together so leaving feedback will help them in future presentations. Plus your feedback will help shape next year’s Convention — it’s really invaluable. You can also lend your thoughts online through the app!
  7. Make friends. No doubt a lot of the people you follow on Twitter will be at National Fundraising Convention so make sure you meet them in real life. There are plenty of coffee breaks, time over lunch and drinks at the bar after the last sessions of the day to get to have a chat with your fundraising peers so make the most of it. Tip – make sure your Twitter profile picture is a recent head shot so that people can recognise you easily.
  8. Share the learning online. If you come away feeling inspired, why not share what you learnt? Present your top takeaways to colleagues, write a blog post or a LinkedIn Pulse.

See you at National Fundraising Convention, 6-8th July! Tickets for the convention are nearly sold out – secure yours now!