I attend at least 3 live conferences each year, in some cases many more. (I’m attending 3 just in spring of this year!)
And as I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, there is nothing like attending a live event for helping to grow your business – nothing beats face-to-face interaction…. BUT only if you make the most of it and purposely look to connect with new people.
Here is my personal system to make the most of attending a live event:
- Know who is coming ahead of time – make a list of the people you want to connect with before you get there. This could include speakers (of course!) as well as attendees (if there is a list of attendees provided, ie: on a Facebook Group). Then purposely “chase them down” when you are there. 🙂
- Upgrade to VIP level – many events these days will offer a VIP upgrade that will give you the opportunity to attend a VIP reception, VIP lunches and such. These are *great* opportunities to meet new people, so upgrade AND make sure to attend all VIP events. (Even if you are shy like me, do it anyhow.)
- Don’t sit with your friends – if you are attending with a friend, spouse or associate, make a point of *not* sitting together each day. Otherwise you will find yourself talking to them all day and not talking to new people.
- Don’t sit in the same place – along the same lines, change seats at each major break so that you are sitting near new people all the time. Move from one side of the room to another.
- Ask for their business card (vs. just giving them yours) – you want to get their card so that *you* are in control of contacting them later… if you just give someone your card, then you have to hope that they reach out to you (and many won’t).
- Follow up within 3 days of the event – I am always surprised at how few people follow up after an event. You need to continue the connection while it’s still “hot” and fresh in their minds. Email or call someone within 3 days of the event. And make it a personal email – don’t just send a blast to everyone you met with some generic message… that is not appealing and can actually be a huge turnoff.
K, that was actually 6 tips not 5. Guess I can’t count, LOL! All important stuff – and I’m sure I could come up with more (might be a part 2 to this one, hmmm).
And a final thought – not really a tip but a request – please please please don’t just add people to your ezine just because they gave you a biz card. (SO annoying, and yet it happens every time I attend an event.)
How do you make the most of connecting with people at live events? Would love to hear your tips/thoughts.