Do the meetings typically present you with ideas to improve your business, increase revenue or create efficiencies? Most conferences actually do bring ideas that will help improve your business. The key is having a plan for getting them home and actually implementing them.

Oftentimes, we return to the office with good intentions to get new initiatives started, but we are immediately immersed in day-to-day activities and anything new takes a back-burner position.

You are paying for the plane ticket, the hotel and, moreover, the time out of the office when you attend these meetings. This year, develop a plan of action in advance for fully implementing the best one or two ideas upon your return.

Here is a simple, three-step plan for turning those ideas into successes for your business.

  1. Have a plan before you leave. Schedule a meeting with your entire staff for the week you return from the conference. Let them know what this meeting will be about and why you are holding it. Tell them you will be going over the best ideas to get their feedback. Let them know that together, the team will put a plan of action in place for implementation and accountability.
  2. Use an action plan. While you are attending the meeting, carry a blank action-plan template with you so you can take ideas and transform them immediately into an actionable to-do list. Each to-do will have a start and end date, a description of the activity and the name of the person responsible.
  3. Make your staff part of the process. Meet with your staff when you return to go over the ideas you picked up, get their feedback, prioritize them and determine who will take the lead on each activity. Then, continue to meet weekly for a few minutes to discuss progress.

If you want change in your business, the best place to pick up ideas is at your industry’s educational conferences. The key is to take the best ideas and put them to work for you.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.