In-Person Conferences are Back- Here’s how to Rock Your Next One!

The flight to Nashville is booked. Hotel room reserved. It’s literally been years since my last conference, so I’m SUPER stoked to attend The Business Made Simple Summit coming up!
You may have noticed already, but conferences are back!
Annual events are going hybrid as we cautiously step out into this post-Covid world and people are signing up in force to attend live and in person again.
Since it’s been a while, for this month’s blog I thought it would be fun to share some ideas about how to get the most value from your next conference experience.
Here are my top 5 Tips for rocking your next conference:
Get ready to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of the experience…
1) Buddy Up
Connect with fellow attendees prior to the event!
Who else that you know is going? Is there a way to reach out to those you don’t know beforehand? Try a shout-out on social media platforms like LinkedIn to see who else might be planning to be there. The more connected you feel to your fellow attendees the more comfortable you will feel. (and the more fun you’ll have!)
It can be so helpful to have a go-to friend or wing person to attend the event with. It makes everything more fun, plus you have another set of eyes and ears to soak everything in.
Consider making happy hour plans or dinner plans with fellow attendees to compare notes and share stories from the day. It can be easier to meet new folks when you’re not flying solo. Get yourself an event buddy. Share your goals and who would be a good contact for you, and then rock that next event as a team!
2) Don’t forget your business cards or…
The traditional business card is not dead. But, yours better stand out.
These days it can be as easy as scanning a quick QR code or transferring data directly from device to device, but there is still something to be said for putting a physical representation of you and your business into someone’s actual hand.
Be sure your cards are updated and all the info is current including any emails, phone numbers, or website urls.
You can also check out a range of options that let you create a digital landing page for your data so people can easily scan and upload your info to their device. For that, check out apps like
My newest preferred move is to have a QR code on my physical cards that directs people to your digital business card for the best of both worlds.
 
3) Prep your ‘One-Liner’
Here comes that dreaded question… “So, what do you do?”
You’ll have about a hundred opportunities to share a little about what you do at these things so it’s worth brushing up your ‘One Liner’.
That’s that one or two-breath intro to what you do that should both intrigue people and help position you as a qualified guide for folks that have the problem you solve. It’s easy to get bogged down in lingo or put people off by making the story all about you.
You see, they are asking about you, but really they are asking what problem you might be able to solve for THEM. We care about others, but we tend to remember people by what problems they can solve for us.
Try this…
Come up with a go-to answer as a response to “What do you do?” that works in three parts.
Problem. Solution. Result.
Tell them exactly what problem you solve, how you solve it, and what result occurs in a few sentences or less. Make the problem engaging and something you can FEEL. Keep the solution short and easy to understand. Then tell them what great thing happens next as a result.
You’ll be memorable, and engaging, and you’ll be giving away your business cards faster than the wait staff can hand out bacon-wrapped dates!
 
4) Establish your key objectives
These events can feel like a whirlwind. It can be like drinking from a firehose!
Be sure you take a moment before the conference (and at the beginning of each day) to identify and write down some key objectives for your time there. It can be easy to miss BIG opportunities because you simply failed to anticipate them.
It’s been said that “Luck is the combination of preparation and opportunity”
Take a few minutes to write down your goals for the event and then share them with your conference buddy so you can both be looking out for each other and helping one another achieve as much as possible and share in the high-five moments!
 
5) Lean into the social opportunities
I get it… Not everyone is automatically social. For those introverts, this can be the hardest part of any conference. There is a ton of unstructured social time at conferences and you can easily miss out on it if you’re not mentally ready to lean in to the opportunity.
A HUGE part of the conference experience is making new connections. This can be a tremendous opportunity to form new partnerships and collaborations, get support from more experienced peers, and form bonds that last a lifetime.
Embrace your inner extrovert and get out there! Be the guide and look for ways to help others around you. Have a bite with someone new at lunch. Make those plans for the evening gatherings. Check the local event calendars and find something fun to do with your new conference friends!
You’ll be glad you did, and you can bet opportunities will flourish from the experience if you embrace it with the mentality of a guide looking to help others win the day.
Whether we feel ready or not, conferences are BACK but don’t worry… everyone else feels a little rusty at these too. Embrace the discomfort and the opportunity with these tips in mind and you’ll get the most out of your next conference.
Keep feeding the flow!
-Paul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

arrow_upward