You have identified an interesting business conference that you want to attend. Perhaps you have based your decision to attend on the potential of the conference to further your company’s marketing goals. You have even taken the step of developing a detailed plan for yourself to use at the conference. How do you make sure that you execute your plan in a way that will deliver outstanding results?
Follow these simple tips to achieve your conference goals and get the greatest value from your next business conference.
Review your plan daily.
From the plans that you created prior to the conference that identify who you want to see, what sessions you want to attend and what social events to go to, make a short plan for the upcoming day. That plan should have the specific people you want to look for and the specific events you want to attend that day. If you have unfinished items you had planned for the prior day, consider incorporating one or more of those items into the upcoming day’s plan.
Go into your networking mode.
Try to mix it up by visiting with acquaintances and meeting lots of new people. Keep your plan in mind when meeting new people, but allow for flexibility. Some of the best contacts are people that you meet by chance. When you do meet or visit with helpful people, make sure that you cover some of the topics that advance your plan. Also make sure to contribute information helpful to them.
Carry ample business cards and wear your name tag. When you collect cards from people that you meet, make notes on the back of their cards regarding your discussions. Include any required follow-up actions.
When you attend workshops or panel discussions, afterwards introduce yourself to the speakers. Take time to thank them for their helpful information and to ask any follow-up questions you might have. If possible, exchange business cards so that you can contact them later or send them thank you notes.
Attend as many workshops and sessions as you can, particularly those that will help you to advance your conference plan. Remember, you are there to achieve certain goals and that requires focused effort. When you are not in workshops or other sessions, concentrate on networking and meeting with attendees on your list. While in sessions, jot down helpful ideas, things you can act upon and on follow-up questions. If given the opportunity, ask questions of speakers and panelists. If you really want to increase your professional and company exposure, consider participating on a panel or in a workshop as a speaker.
Remember to have fun.
Even though you will be working and need to stay focused, plan on having fun while you do so. Some fun events might include excursions, boat rides, entertainment activities or dinners. Take these moments to relax and to get to know others on a more informal basis.
Make sure that you stay rested and get sufficient sleep. Avoid late night drinking sessions. You will want to stay fresh to continue executing your plan the next day.
If you follow these simple tips, you will ensure that you realize greater value from your next business conference. You will meet more people, uncover more opportunities and gather more useful information in the process.