Attending an in-person conference is one of the most exciting parts of remote work. For some, it’s the first time that they’re meeting remote colleagues in person. For others, it’s the best time to meet new connections, customers, and clients. For almost everyone, attending conferences means capturing exclusive and cutting-edge knowledge that can potentially have a huge impact on your company and industry. That’s why note-taking is crucial!
In this article, we’ll explore the following:
The benefits of taking notes at a conference
The most effective way of taking notes
An AI tool that helps you automatically take notes
Let’s dive in!
Should you take notes at a conference?
Yes, note taking is a must because it’s the best way to capture insights and action items specific to your job role, company, and industry. Speakers usually share a link to the presentation, but it only gives you an overview of what they discussed and not the unique insights it sparked.
Plus, with everything going on at a conference, those insights happen at the moment and can easily be forgotten once you start drinking wine at the networking event.
You want to capture, organize, and unpack all the insights, so you can turn them into actionable items once you’re back in your physical or remote office.
Be selective: Focus on capturing the main ideas, insights, and key takeaways instead of trying to write down every spoken word. This will make your notes concise and easier to review later.
Use abbreviations and symbols: Save time and keep your notes organized using abbreviations and symbols that you can easily understand. This will allow you to jot down more information quickly without compromising readability.
Engage with the content: Actively listen and engage with the speakers during the conference. Asking questions, discussing ideas with others, and sharing your thoughts can solidify your understanding of the material and make your notes more meaningful.
By incorporating these three tips into your note-taking methods, you'll be able to absorb more information, retain key insights, and make the most of your conference experience.
But what if there’s a way that you can enlist the help of AI and take notes automatically?
Use Tactiq to Take Notes Automatically
Tactiq is a real-time transcript tool for online meetings. It also generates a full transcript with highlights after the meeting. The best thing about it is that GPT-3 is integrated into the tool. The transcript comes with AI-generated summaries with just one click.
Here’s an example of an AI-generated summary from my notes:
If this is for an online meeting, how can you use it for note-taking at a conference? It’s super easy! Here’s how:
Go to Integrations and connect your favorite video meeting tool like Zoom, Google Meet, or MS Teams.
Create a calendar event for the session you’re attending.
Add a meeting link.
Join the meeting link. A Tactiq window will appear. Don’t mute your mic, but you can turn off your camera.
Let Tactiq transcribe the speaker’s audio while presenting.
After the session, end the call.
You’ll get an email with the full transcript after the call has ended. With this method, I could focus on the discussion without my hands busily typing everything. The only time that I was typing something was when there was a major insight that I needed to unpack after the conference.
The last step is to to generate AI summaries. Here’s how:
Go to your full transcript on Tactiq.
Click on Generate AI Summary.
Remove unnecessary details.
That’s how easy it is. It saves a lot of time manually taking notes.
How to Get Accurate Automatic Notes During a Conference
Since Tactiq is built for online meetings, there are a few best practices when using it as a note-taking tool for in-person conferences.
First, this setup is best in a conference room with onespeaker per session and a few attendees. I used this method with a speaker and a panel discussion with no more than 50 people in a large room. If it’s a stage with a big crowd listening in, there might be too much noise.
You don’t need a special mic to get the transcript. I used this method with a MacBook Air’s built-in mic.
Here are things to remember when seeing the real-time transcript and the full transcript after the session:
Since you’re the one who joined the call link, your name appears in the transcription (and not the name of the speaker).
Once the full transcript is available on Tactiq, you can edit your name to the speaker’s name. For example, in the transcript I shared, the speaker was Roger Blohm. I just edited the name from “Irene” to “Roger” and corrected the pronouns.
Highlight important insights and action items.
With Tactiq, you can manually highlight important sentences and categorize them as an insight, decision, action item, or question. This is where your unique insights come in. You can also add your notes manually on the Tactiq window, and it will be saved along with your transcript.
How do you organize conference notes?
After the conference, you might have a few sessions with full transcripts. So, the next step is to organize all of your conference notes! The best way to do that is to categorize the information that you have into these labels:
Insights: Was there an insight or idea that needed to be explored more with yourself or colleagues?
Decision: Did you come to the conference looking for a particular answer? Did the talk help you decide?
Action Items: Once you’ve decided, turn them into action items with assignees and deadlines.
Questions: Did the presentation produce new questions to discuss with your team?
If you’ve used Tactiq to highlight these notes, then it’s easy to categorize them because you’ll see them neatly displayed on one page.
You can transfer action items on Notion or other project management tools you’re using. You can also copy or delete some of the items. Lastly, you can upload these notes in Notion or a similar tool, so your teammates who didn’t attend the conference can access them as well.
Embrace the Power of AI for Effective Note-taking
Attending conferences can be a game-changer in your professional life, giving you the power to network, learn, and grow. Taking effective notes is a critical aspect of making the most of these opportunities. By leveraging the power of AI with tools like Tactiq, you can capture essential insights and action items without missing a beat.