How Do You Organize It All After the Conference?

Quick Link: Take the Survey!

I love attending conferences. I love the networking, the exhibit halls, the sessions, and traveling to new locations. But there is something I have struggled with after each and every conference I’ve attended — what to do with the stuff I bring home. The notes, the handouts, the books, the swag. It’s stuffed in drawers, stacked in piles and in some cases, I’m ashamed to admit, still sitting in the conference bags in my closet, untouched since I returned home.

You know how it is — you’ve been out of town for five days for a conference and you’ve got a ton of unpacking and laundry to do before you return to work and normal life the next day, if not that very day. I put the stack of conference materials on my desk, swearing I’ll organize it all over the weekend, but what happens? I just keep moving that pile to the floor, to the bed, back to the desk. I throw the swag into a drawer and forget I have all those magnets, rulers, highlighters and pens after a few days.

So, I’m putting out the call here. Surely some of you have a better system. What’s the answer? Do you take an extra day to organize all those materials? Are you paperless? Do you avoid the vendors or just the urge to accept all their goodies?

I have created a survey with questions about how you take in the conference experience and what you do with all the associated material once you get home. Please take a few moments to fill out this questionnaire. I plan to share the results here on my blog. I’m personally interested in this, of course, as I’m seeking solutions for my own post-conference disorganization. I’ve also helped plan conferences in the past and I think many of my colleagues in that realm would be interested in your answers as well.

At the end of the survey, I ask for your email address so I can contact you if I have questions about your answers. I promise not to attribute specific answers to you without your permission if you identify yourself.

I also ask you to provide your email address if you would like a copy of my report following the survey. I promise only to send you this report and nothing more (unless you indicate later that you want to hear from me again!). If you’d like your answers to remain completely anonymous, just send email to requesting a copy of the report.

Thanks in advance for your time and your answers!

Take the survey here.


2 thoughts on “How Do You Organize It All After the Conference?

  1. JL says:

    I don’t go to conferences so filling out your survey won’t help you.

    But, if I did, I would use mindmapping if I had a computer with me. Otherwise, that’s how I’d organize material after the fact.

    The other way to look at it is information is endless and we just absorb what we absorb. Don’t worry about it. Anything important is in your mind somewhere if you ever need it.

    Souvenirs, I don’t know. I have nowhere to put them so I probably wouldn’t buy any.

  2. […] Conference Materials Survey and tagged: conference, survey, organization Earlier this month, I asked folks to respond to a survey about how they deal with the information, materials and swag that they collect at conferences. I […]

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