50. Making the Most of Your Conference Investment
(and how to fix it)
It’s conference season, your investing, but are you getting any ROI?
The reality is that conferences can be expensive, and they are an investment. Unfortunately, what I see too often (and yes I’ve been equally guilty) is that we are drawn into a conference with exuberance and excitement. Then we attend and we get home and we don’t remember a thing except, well that was fun. I want to encourage you to make the most of your conference event.
Which is why in this week’s Feed U Podcast episode, I’m giving you 7 tips
to make the most of your conference attendance and investment. Click here to listen to the entire episode. For your easy reference, here are the seven tips to make your conference profitable in the long run.
1. Have a plan and a goal.
I know this is shocking coming from the goal preacher, lol, but it’s true. You have to have a goal or else you will wander aimlessly throughout the conference and then come home feeling overwhelmed and even a little deflated. The goal doesn’t have to be over the top, but by putting the intention around the goal, you will focus on that goal subconsciously and be more focused. Some goals could be focusing on who you want to meet. Why do you want to meet them? Do you want to learn a specific skill? Why? Do you want to connect with influencers or speakers? Where do you want that connection to go? Do you eventually want to present there? If so, are you connecting with organizers?
2. Connect with the speakers.
Why? Because first, they are likely experts in the area they are speaking on. Second, they could be awesome future resources such as interviews for your content. You could be interviewed by them to grow your audience. You could compare notes with them if you share similar areas of expertise. You are more likely to pick up some insider tips. Lastly, you can get on their radar for the future. One I forgot to mention on the podcast is you can also get some social traction with a selfie with them if they have a larger audience.
3. Remember what you learn.
This one probably seems obvious, however, statistics show that you only retain 30-40% of what you hear and see and unless you implement it and teach it to someone else, your percentages don’t get any higher. In fact, 90% of what you learn will be gone in a month. That’s not looking good for your investment. In order to keep things in your noggin, take notes. Create the best system that works for your brain and ability to remember. Is it photos? Notes? Screenshots? Audio? I also want to encourage you to just pick 3 key takeaways from each session that you can implement once you get home. Just three.
4. Get social.
At the end of the conference sessions, you may be exhausted, however, I want to encourage you to do everything in your power to attend social events. This is where the best connections are made, as well as, friendships. If there are vendors set up, this is another often overlooked opportunity to create partnerships and notoriety. If you can be the last to leave and also be a conversation starter (I give you a prep tip for this in the episode) you will walk away with more than just knowledge at your next conference. Connections are the best you can give your business when attending a conference.
5. Put your phone away.
I know I probably sound like your mom right there, but it’s true. When you are connected to your phone, you aren’t being present. When you aren’t being present, you will miss out on something. You’ve invested your time and money to be at this conference, so – Be. There. You will make better connections, stay more focused and not be distracted when social media, emails and text messages are not pulling you away. Give yourself the gift of only checking your phone at designated times and see how your experience shifts.
6. Followup after the conference.
We are all guilty of this one. You get home, you have a stack of business cards from contacts, and then you get pulled into the task of catching up on everything that didn’t get done while you were gone. A week goes by, then another week, next thing you know, it’s a month. If you prep before you go to the conference, follow up can be easier. Set up an email template and just change a few lines to personalize the follow-up. Create a plan for follow up, will it be emails? Phone calls? Videos? A combination? Lastly, follow up more than once. Everyone you met is fighting the same uphill battle you are when they get home of getting through emails and workload. Sometimes, it takes more than one reminder to get their attention. Don’t be the one who drops the ball.
7. Pay it forward.
How can you give first to the people you met? This is a great way to stay memorable and favorable with those new connections, especially if you are wanting something from them in the future. Who can you introduce them to? Is there a certain task they need help with? It sharing your experience at the event with your audience is a REALLY great way to pay it forward. There may be that one person in your audience who REALLY wanted to be at that event, but just couldn’t make it happen. When you share your experience, you are giving them the opportunity to see what it was like to be there.
Did you learn something from this episode?
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Listen to the entire episode here:
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