What to Do After the ATSI Convention

Attending a Conference Is Valuable but It’s What You Do When You Get Home That Counts

Hopefully you had the opportunity to attend this year’s ATSI conference.

At the ATSI convention, we attended sessions, networked, and met with vendors. Brimming with ideas and inspiration, we left feeling energized, reinvigorated, and ready to make our answering service even better. Then we arrived at our office and had a hundred things confront us, urgent things that distracted us from doing what we wanted to do.

But don’t let that dissuade you from what’s important. Before you file and forget everything you learned, be intentional and take time to pursue a strategic approach to make things happen.

Here’s a four-step process to help you turn good intentions into valuable results.

Review Your Notes and the Information You Collected

Block out time to look at your notes and the business cards and literature you picked up at the convention. Divide them into two categories: things that will make a difference for your answering service and things you’ll never get around to. Set aside those things you’ll never get around to and focus on the rest.

Prioritize Activities

Look at the items that will make a difference in your answering service and are realistic to do. Prioritize them.

Ask, what is my answering service’s biggest need? This could be generating more revenue, decreasing expenses, or improving processes. Other things may relate to staffing, billing, or technical initiatives. Now with this greatest need in mind, which item—or items—on your list will best address it?

Now identify the second greatest need your answering service faces. What item—or items—will best correct that need? Continue in this way until you identified your top needs and assigned activities to help you fix them.

And for those activities that don’t align with your answering service’s top needs, set them aside. No matter how good those ideas are, they’re not going to address your big picture issues.

Make an Action Plan

Next, develop in action plan to address each one of these top needs your answering service faces, using the ideas that the convention spawned. Resist the urge to tackle all your top needs at once. Spread them out so you can focus on one thing at a time. Only when the first item is under way and moving towards completion should you consider the second initiative.

Get Staff Involved

Just because you attended the conference and have all these great ideas for improvement, doesn’t mean you need to do them alone. Get your staff involved, but resist the urge to dump the whole project on them. Instead, work with them, delegating some items and taking the lead on others. If you don’t take part in making things happen, little will happen.


Attending a telephone answering service industry conference or convention is a great way to connect with people and spawn ideas. But what you do with these ideas when you get home is what matters most. Follow this four-step process to turn your ideas into results:

  1. Review your notes and information.
  2. Prioritize activities.
  3. Make an action plan.
  4. Get staff involved.


If you do this, you’ll return to next year’s convention with a more profitable and better-run answering service to your credit. Then you can come up with new initiatives to make it even better.

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