The best books to read before attending a conference

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a goal-setting expert with a specialty in Event Outcome Optimization. Through speaking, workshops, and consulting, I help individuals and teams get the most value from the events they attend. Conferences are essential for professional development, whether in-person or virtual. And they can be more than just fun. When you set goals and approach them properly, conferences can be a bounty of new connections, education, and information!


I wrote...

Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals

By Debra Eckerling,

Book cover of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals

What is my book about?

Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals helps readers address the first, crucial step in the goal-setting process: figuring out what they want, so they can make a plan to turn it into reality!

The first section of Your Goal Guide takes readers through the D*E*B METHOD®, the author's system for goal-setting simplified. DEB stands for Determine Your Mission, Explore Your Options, Brainstorm Your Path. Section two is filled with strategies for success. Through writing exercises, worksheets, and tips, Your Goal Guide provides readers with a process that makes goal-setting—and goal-getting—user-friendly and stress-free.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn

Debra Eckerling Why did I love this book?

Whenever you meet new people, you Google them, right? You check out their website and connect on LinkedIn. Guess what? They do the same for you.

Before you attend any event, make sure your digital presence is a positive reflection of who you are and how you help. 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn is a comprehensive guide that helps you put your best digital foot forward.

Authors LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen and “Rock Star” entrepreneur Dayna Steele have made it easy to give your LinkedIn a likely overdue makeover that helps you stand out from the crowd.

By Viveka von Rosen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year 2020 forced us to pivot, to understand the importance of our business and our personal brand, and to learn how to create virtual business. Not only has business changed, so has the entire world. So many more of us are working from home and/or are creating new home-based businesses. That means it’s even more important to create a strong personal brand, so that you stand out from your competition.

“LinkedIn is perhaps the most powerful social media platform for business today. Viveka von Rosen (considered among the world’s foremost experts on this platform) and ‘Rock Star’ entrepreneur Dayna…


Book cover of Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

Debra Eckerling Why did I love this book?

For a refresher on networking and developing genuine relationships, check out Never Eat Alone by Kevin Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz. Being social was in style long before social media became mainstream. The principles in this book are relevant and timeless. 

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, there is always something new to discover and strategies to keep in mind when it comes to networking and building your circle.

By Keith Ferrazzi,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Never Eat Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling business classic on the power of relationships, updated with in-depth  advice for making connections in the digital world.
 
Do you want to get ahead in life? Climb the ladder to personal success?
 
The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered in early life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.

In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates…


Book cover of The Art of Visual Notetaking: An Interactive Guide to Visual Communication and Sketchnoting

Debra Eckerling Why did I love this book?

Many people are visual learners. The Art of Visual Notetaking by Emily Mills is a course in the art and craft of “sketchnoting:” note-taking that combines words and pictures.

You don’t need to be an artist to take visual notes; it’s a skill like anything else that can be improved with time and practice.

Want to create action items from your conference takeaways? Start by taking better notes.

By Emily Mills,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Visual Notetaking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Improve your bullet journals, to-do lists, class notes, and everything in between with The Art of Visual Notetaking and its unique approach to taking notes in the twenty-first century.

Visual notetaking is the perfect skill for journaling, class lectures, conferences, and any other time that retaining information is key. Also referred to as sketchnoting, visual notetaking is ideal for documenting processes, planning projects, outlining ideas, and capturing information. And as you'll learn in The Art of Visual Notetaking, this approach doesn't require advanced drawing or hand-lettering skills; anyone can learn how to use simple lines, connectors, shapes, and text to…


Book cover of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Debra Eckerling Why did I love this book?

With sharp communication skills, you can do anything. When returning from a conference, you’ll want to share what you have learned in a thoughtful and professional manner, whether it’s to your boss, team, and/or audience.

Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes—which is getting an update in Fall 2022—is a go-to guide for all things writing. It includes sections on how to write better, crafting content, tools, and more. 

Besides, what better way to continue a conversation with a speaker than to see if they’ll let you interview them for your blog... or podcast or livestream?

By Ann Handley,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Everybody Writes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finally a go-to guide to creating and publishing the kind of content that will make your business thrive. Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer. If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers. Yeah, but who cares about writing anymore? In a time-challenged world dominated by…


Book cover of Follow Up Sales Strategies

Debra Eckerling Why did I love this book?

Meeting new people at an event is one thing. Being able to follow up and follow through consistently gives you a huge edge for turning prospects into clients. Yet, most people, including entrepreneurs, consultants, and employees, struggle with this.  

In Follow Up Sales Strategies, author Wanda Allen simplifies the process. She shares how to develop a proper mindset and effective habits, as well as her proven follow-up systems, designed to increase sales pipelines, improve performance, and strengthen relationships.

Get organized, so you can get the most out of the relationships you develop through conferences.

You might also like...

Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

By Sima Dimitrijev, PhD, Maryann Karinch,

Book cover of Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

Sima Dimitrijev, PhD Author Of Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

My core value is realistic education—learning from each other’s errors and successes, but with full awareness of the difference between the determined past and the uncertain future. We can benefit from uncertainty, which I’ve been doing for a living as an engineer, academic researcher, and inventor. I make use of knowledge and science as much as possible, but I also know that strategic decisions for the uncertain future require skepticism and thinking to deal with the differences in a new circumstance. With my core value, I am passionate about sharing insights and knowledge that our formal education does not provide.

Sima's book list on realistic knowledge and decision making

What is my book about?

Everything in nature evolves by trial, error, and success—from fundamental physics, through evolution in biology, to how people learn, think, and decide.

This book presents a way of thinking and realistic knowledge that our formal education shuns. Stepping beyond this ignorance, the book shows how to deal with and even benefit from uncertainty by skeptical thinking, strategic decisions, and teamwork based on enlightened self-interests.

This bottom-up thinking is thought-provoking for leaders who wish to build teams rather than herds. The insights in the book will help you to be better prepared for the unexpected, less likely to conform when you…

Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

By Sima Dimitrijev, PhD, Maryann Karinch,

What is this book about?

Everything in nature evolves by trial, error, and success. They didn't teach you this in school, even though you should know why the rigid laws of physics don't rule nature and don't inhibit your free-will decisions to try, fail, and succeed. As a guide to success, this book shows how skepticism, prudent use of science, and thinking lead to strategic decisions for the uncertain future.
 
Presenting real-life examples, the thinking in the book combines sharp analyses with broad analogies to show:
 
How to identify realistic knowledge and avoid harm due to overgeneralized concepts. How to create new knowledge and solve…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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