Making the Most of CBC 2022: How to Follow Up on the Educational Experience
There is a lot of planning that goes into making sure you get the most out of the educational experience at the Craft Brewers Conference. Selecting tracks and seminars and making sure the schedule works to get from one room to the next with plenty of time. Notebooks are ready, pencils are sharpened.
By the time the conference is over that notebook should be filled and those number twos mere nubs.
Making Sense of Notes
Think back to your school days and the importance of reinforcing just-learned information. Transfer any written notes to a computer document (or clean up any notes taken on the computer) and prioritize the information learned in each session. What stands out and what information will benefit your career and the brewery? Use a system that works for you, like bullet points, or long-form narrative. Find and link to outside sources if necessary.
Having a clear idea of what was taught and how it can impact you will help with the next steps.
Communicating with the Brewery Team
Life will very quickly get back to normal and very busy following a business trip. Set deadlines for cleaning up notes and stick to them. Also set up meetings with staff that might have missed the conference or were not in individual seminars. Present the information found and share thoughts on how what was learned can impact the brewery.
Set up a shared drive or have handouts available so that everyone on the team can participate. Then, have a brainstorm session on the various topics and see what new ideas might come from the information presented.
When possible, bring team members from other departments into these meetings. The sharing of information might lead to new ideas, efficiencies, or inspiration. This can also help with team building.
Create an Action Plan
Once the information is shared, come up with a plan, including deadlines, to implement new action plans. This can include business plans, brewhouse recipes or efficiencies, packaging goals, or anything else covered. It is important to set deadlines and stick to them, since everyday life and responsibilities will continue to get in the way.
The goal of education is to improve, so finding ways to make sure the information that was learned is implemented will help a brewery grow in a meaningful way.
Going to the Craft Brewers Conference is a big financial commitment for many small breweries. Having a plan in advance and afterwards will help ensure that there is a return on the investment, aside from just having a good time.