Modern technology means we no longer have to sit through hour upon hour of seminars and lectures at a conference, doggedly taking notes in the hope that you will retain as much information as possible. You can still do this if you want, of course, but you might find that you struggle to remember what all your notes mean.
Instead, it might be better to record things wherever possible. This has long been a practice at conferences, with people asking friends to take dictaphones into sessions they can't make themselves so they don't miss out on anything. However, it might be a good idea to record the sessions you attend as well.
It can be very difficult to retain information from hastily scribbled notes. It is hard to write information down faster than it is relayed to you by the speaker, so you will often end up missing out on key titbits. By recording your sessions, you will have a resource to fall back on if you forget anything. Here are a few tips to help you record your sessions successfully:
Invest in good equipment
There are few things that feel as disastrous as when you play a recording back only to find that the speaker is too quiet or distorted, or you can hear the coughs, sneezes and yawns of the audience far better than the business advice. A poor-quality recorder will leave you with useless audio files that won't teach you anything.
You don't have to carry around an entire sound studio with you to get a good recording; just don't settle for the cheapest dictaphone on the market. You will need one with a high-quality microphone, as well as a good amount of storage space so you don't run out of space midway through the conference.
Buy the recordings where available
Often, you will be able to buy the recordings of conference sessions. This might seem like a waste of money to you, but in actual fact it can be a very useful purchase. For one, buying recordings allows you to easily access sessions you are not able to attend in person; you can just listen to them later.
It also ensures you will get a clear, high-quality recording without too many audio errors. In some cases you might get a video as well, which can be incredibly helpful if there are any visual aspects to the sessions.
Take initiative when recording
Sometimes, we get too passive at conferences. It is all too easy to slip into the habit of sitting quietly in your seat, taking notes and recording. However, if you do this you will be missing out on an opportunity to really interact with the conference and the industry experts who are attending.
Recording a session gives you the freedom to ask questions and engage in debates without having to worry about note taking. This means you are able to get a lot more out of the conference, as you will be able to join discussions and learn far more than if you had just sat, listened and taken notes.