Once You’re There
You made it to the conference after you have prepared for it! Now, what? The next few days are going to be full of meeting people and sessions, but don’t be overwhelmed. You’re armed and ready to make the most out of your time!
Top 3 Things to Do at A Conference
1. Brief, Divide then Conquer.
First, brief with your team if you are going with coworkers and see where you would like to meet, have dinner, network with clients or contacts. Also, determine if they want to meet someone or ask a certain question. That way, if they are not around you can gain the information they needed.
If your team or coworkers are attending the same conference, it’s a good idea to divide sessions between everyone. Conferences can be packed with interesting sessions, and it can be hard to choose between interesting concurrent sessions. Splitting up sessions will maximize the amount you learn and guarantee that you get unique insights to take back. Make sure to regroup at the end of the day to highlight key takeaways from the sessions.
If you are solo at the conference, you will have the ability to meet more people, but you might not be able to attend all the sessions you want. Make sure that the sessions you do choose are on point with your goals.
2. Network & Connect
Nothing is better than face-to-face meetings with your customers or partners. If things are not going well with your partners or clients, this is the perfect time to address any issues and connect one-on-one. Talk through any high-level concerns your customer may have and then set a follow-up time for after the conference. If things are going well, checking in will reinforce your relationship! Enjoy spending time with your customers, and listen for upsell opportunities.
Remember there is no prize for the most business cards collected, rather conferences are about the connection more than the number of people you talk to. Make sure to jot notes down about your conversations, so you can follow-up easily.
Make time to attend the conference’s social events as they are an excellent way to connect in a relaxed environment. These events are sometimes more important than the actual show. Here most people tend to let their hair down a bit and get more personal about conversations, rather than just business. They are an excellent way to connect with customers and clients.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during sessions. If there is a speaker or panelist you would like to meet, then stick around after the session and meet them. If you don’t get a chance to ask your question in person, you can always follow up by asking them on Twitter.
Make sure to make the most out of social media while you are at the conference. During the event, you should be tagging, tweeting and posting. Additionally, you can monitor other conversations and invite people to your booth, reach out to others who share something in common with you and find out about events.
3. Remember What You Learned
Going to sessions and meeting tons of people means there’s a lot to take in and you’re probably not going to remember everything when you get home. Make sure to take notes during the sessions and when meeting people, whether that’s with a notebook, a tablet, smartphone, a laptop or on the back of a business card. Keep your notes neat and organized so you can find them when you get back home. You should have at least three key takeaways from each session, if not more, to bring back with you. Jot down any follow-up questions or particular to-dos for when you get back home.
If the session has handouts, hang on to those for future reference. Conference programs can be useful too. These are directories that give you access to subject matter experts, the agendas and other critical information that can act as a professional resource during and after the show.
Remember the most important part of the conference is to have fun and enjoy yourself. If you have prepared and know the above tips you are going to rock at the conference. Read our tips for what to do once you return home from a conference so you make the most out of your time.