One of the best things you could do to improve your business, whatever niche or industry you are working in, is attending those conferences that you may have been put off by in the past. Even if you have been going to them regularly in the past and see their worth, it may be that you are still not benefiting from them fully. In the following post, we will highlight 10 ways you to get the best out of the next conference you attend.
Find Out Who Will Be Attending
Before you attend a conference, it is a good use of your time in the run-up to the event to start connecting with people and networking with them before you actually go. Most conferences and events have Facebook and Twitter pages to support them. Check out who is going to attend and try messaging them online before it. It shouldn’t just assume that you will be able to run into all your prospects on an actual day. By doing it ahead of time, you can share time and get their attention instead of just trying to stuff things into a quick conference chat.
Be Prepared With The Right Gear
Normally, conferences are held over multiple days and as you will be spending a lot of hours at them each day, it is crucial that you have all the gear you will need for each day. Save stress by planning this all out in advance. This includes:
- Making sure you pack laptop and phone chargers and keep them close to you. The last thing you would want to happen is not having batteries.
- Packing enough business cards. It is better to have more business cards than you think you’ll need because you can never know how many people you will meet.
- Bring any additional materials you need for any demonstrations. Attending a conference is not just about pitching ideas to people the whole time. Though, if one of those meetings you have set up with an interested buyer turns out to be a sales opportunity, it will be a lot more efficient if you can walk them through the product efficiently
Review The Conference Agenda
This is perhaps common sense, but it is worth highlighting. It is important to establish just what you are looking to learn from the conference, using the conference agenda to plan out a way to achieve it. Ensure that you are present for the big conference-wide events such as keynote addresses. Don’t worry about missing out on other stuff during these big talks, because most conferences will focus everything on them.
For smaller sessions, consider the subject matter and speaker. Remember though that the more tactical sessions will probably be helpful, no matter who is taking the lead in them. Although other sessions not related to your profession may seem less important; however, if you’re looking to meet an industry leader is the main speaker, it may still be worth attending.
Once you have your personalised lanyard from Digital ID, it is vital that you familiarise yourself with the venue the conference will be held in, to ensure you don’t get lost and miss anything important. Showing up late could not only mean you miss out on valuable information, but may also mean that you make a poor first impression on people.
Register As Early As Possible
Once you arrive at the conference venue, head to the registration desk as soon as you possibly can so you avoid the queues. You may be able to register early online, and if you can you should.
Split Up And Cover It All
If you are going to an event with fellow co-workers or business partners, it is wise to take in as much as you can. If you all attend the same things at the same time, there was no point in you all going. Split up and try to cover as many of the different talks, seminars, demonstrations and whatever else is on offer. Regroup at lunchtime or at the end of the day to discuss key points.
Try To Connect With Customers
Faceless contact with customers is good, but there is nothing better than face-to-face meet-ups. this is particularly helpful if you have recently had issues with your relationship with customers and clients. Take the time to address any issues at the conference, but if things are going well you can still meet and greet with clients and customers, as this will only strengthen your professional relationship.
Be Part Of The Bigger Picture
The majority of conferences and events these days tend to have a hashtag associated with them. While the event is in progress, be sure to tag any Instagram posts, Tweets, and Facebook posts correctly, using the hashtag. Also, make sure you keep an eye on the hashtag during the course of the event, to see what other attendees are discussing. Starting a conversation in this way is a good way to approach and network with someone you are keen to meet.
Stay Organised Throughout The Event
If attended correctly, you can easily come away with a huge pile of different numbers, names, email addresses, and notes – way more than you would be able to remember if you hadn’t written them down. However, make sure the notes and details you take down are labeled and tagged and organized or you will never be able to make sense of them in the days, weeks and even months after the event has finished.
Remember To Follow-up
It is important to connect with any people you met and exchanged details with at the conference, as soon as you can in the days following the event. Send LinkedIn requests and other follow-up notes while everyone still has the event fresh in their minds. Be sure to personalize your notes and requests, as everyone’s inboxes will be full of similar messages. Make sure yours stands out and that the people can remember exactly who you are.