In January the activities that business leaders and their teams engage in will set the pace for the year. One of those activities will be attending conferences. The goal of attending the conference should be to meet key decision makers that can accelerate your 2018 revenue goals.
Attending the right conference and engaging with people at these events is of even more a priority. However, the most important part of the conference isn't the speakers or the workshops, it's standing out and leaving a lasting impression.
But, how can you do this when the events will have hundreds if not thousands of people in attendance.
Here are three ways that you can maximize the investment of attending the conference while also standing out.
Tip # 1 -Give Value
"Try not to be a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value" - Albert Einstein
It never fails that at a conference there are always a few people that are determined to connect with as many people within a ten feet radius of where they are standing. The result of this is that their business card lands in the hand of every person they encounter.
How many times have you returned back to your office from a conference only to stare at a stack of business cards without any idea of who is who from the names staring back at you? The best way to avoid this is first to not be the person that hands out a card to everyone they walk by. The second is to engage in purposeful dialogue with each person, as much as possible, and in return give them something of value.
"How do I provide value to people I meet but I only have a short amount of time to talk to?"
- The Key Take-Away - It's more important that you get their contact information, including their cell phone number, than it is to give them your card
- Ask - When engaging with the contact ask them what they've enjoyed about the conference and why? This will give you some insight into what are the top of mind priorities for this person and their organization. Even a quick question and reply can provide a idea of what to follow up with them about.
Gift - Giving the contact something tangible is a great way to stand out. This 'tangible' gift can be done in many forms. One of the gifts that are team is giving away this year to contacts we meet at conferences is a copy of our Executive Briefing on the most recent case study we have completed on employee issues that are wasting profits. This study is called 'Company Held Hostage. How to Identify & Eliminate Employee Mistakes That are Costing You Money."
Giving gifts away is a time to be creative in your business. The gift we are giving away comes with a quick 2 minute video to remind the contact how we met & why its important for them to stay connected with me.
Click here to see receive our free gift
Tip # 2 - Make Connecting Simple (and Be Creative)
Its the night before a conference and as you unpack your suitcase you realize one thing is missing. Business cards. So what do you do? Do you rush to the local copy and print shop to create a few hundred cards? And that is only if the stores are still open.
Last year I found myself in this same position. What did I do? Electronic Business Cards to the rescue.
There are a number of providers that offer this service. Normally there is a low monthly fee and even a free trial to test out the version that is best for you.
A benefit of the Electronic Business Card is that when in a bind you can easily use this tool to connect with people, if the freshly printed stack of 500 cards are sitting on your desk back at home.
One of the challenges can be that most of the apps will require the recipient to install the app in order to view your contact information. But all in all having this tool available is more of a benefit than not having anything at all.
Last year I used Haystack. Haystack made the on boarding process simple and the template was easy to use.
To learn more about Haystack you can listen to our interview with their Customer Service Manager on our podcast by clicking here
Tip # 3 - Follow Up & Continue to Add Value
After the conference is time that the follow up normally begins. But what if you followed up and added value prior to the event ending. This is where more networking comes into place. A few ideas are
- Invite them to dinner with a few others that are masterminding or sharing notes from that days session
- Meet for coffee in the morning before the event starts
- Be on the look out for strategic introductions that you can make that will benefit your contact.
But, don't forget the most basic follow up item and that is to share with them what you do. How you share this with them will take creativity and persistence in order to stand out from other attendees that also have an agenda to do the same thing.
The VOS Group, llc is a Revenue Growth Strategy Firm that specializes in solutions to increase revenue by stopping the leakage within the company that are eating away at the profits. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about what we do & how we can help you.