To build and grow a business, sometimes you’ve to get away from the comfort and safety felt behind your desk. Going to in-person events provides entrepreneurs and business leaders the chance to recharge while joining like-minded peers to expand their networks, learn new strategies and uncover ideas that may lead to profitable and rewarding opportunities.
There are literally thousands of events on the market, from annual national events like Inc.’s GrowCo to native networking events close to me such because the Get Down to Business Lunch benefiting Easter Seals in Palm Beach, Florida. Many attendees at these conferences and networking functions fail to faucet into the true value that exists within an event. By utilizing these events properly and benefiting from the worth they provide, you’ll be able to grow your organization, extend your network and are available out reinvigorated about your business’ potential.
#1. Approach it as an Investment
Attending such a big amount of conferences and seminars is not low cost. Together with travel and lodging, a single event can cost upwards of $3,000, and much more should you’re an exhibitor or sponsor. Also, your time is effective, and you’ve got to take that cost into consideration as well.
Approach every event as an investment opportunity. Before investing in a conference, analysis the event’s website, agenda and social media sites. These resources will inform you who’s speaking, who could also be attending, what topics shall be covered, and what kinds of networking opportunities there shall be. The more you understand about an event, the more opportunities yow will discover to make the most out of your investment. You do not want to recuperate your expenses in direct sales on the event for it to be worthwhile, however you want to have clear goals of what you hope to gain from attending.
#2 Make the A lot of the Trip
Most probably, the conference or seminar shall be in a city you do not sometimes have a reason to visit. Take time prior to the event to analysis if there are any suppliers, people, entrepreneurship incubators, businesses or economic development organizations which will help you explore or expand on opportunities that might be obtainable within the space. Because you’re already there, benefit from the potential that comes with being in a totally different demographic space with its own specialties and resources.
Traveling is fun, and there is a lot to do and see in cities that host events. Attempt to plan to get to your destination city a day before the event or stay a day after. Visit a historic place, a theme park, famous restaurant, museum or park. This can permit for some fun and relaxation and can ease the monotony of travel. Simply since you’re there to work, doesn’t suggest it could’t be fun!
#3. Say Hello
It is exhausting to share your value with people when they do not know who you’re. Introduce yourself to organizers, speakers, and other attendees. Most everybody at an event is actively engaged at some level and certain to desire to talk, share, help, and get to know other attendees. Make the most and let people know who you’re. Who is aware of, you might be simply the person they want or desire to meet.
#4. Wear Your Name Badge
It might feel silly to wear a giant laminated badge with a lime inexperienced lanyard around your neck, however this conference accessory has a few major advantages.
The badge identifies to event staff that you simply’re where you’re supposed to be. It is also a good conversation starter with other attendees which will spot you walking down the hall, street or through the lobby through the event. Most significantly, your badge has your name on it. That is useful to other attendees who might use it as a visual aid in saying or remembering your name and vice versa.
#5. Keep in mind, Use Names
Names are a giant a part of our personal identity. It makes me feel valued when someone remembers my name.
As well as to having the ability to use their name as an alternative of chief, big guy, or “there she is!”, it provides you the power to simply begin a conversation with them sooner or later. Should you don’t keep in mind someone’s name, you’re less doubtless to approach them, and more doubtless to miss out on opportunities to build relationships.
Attempt exhausting to keep in mind names and be honest should you forget them. Even when you have to ask a second time, they’ll respect that you’re making the trouble and taking the time to get to know who they’re.
#6. Share What You’re Going Through and What You Want
When first attending events, I did not know what to expect. I used to be terrified to share the actual pains and struggles I used to be going through because I did not desire to be seen as a failure.
I took over Frigibar Industries, Inc. about 5 years ago after my father had passed from a swift battle with Lou Gehrig’s Illness (ALS). He did not have a succession plan in place, and I had little or no expertise workingin the business prior. It was extraordinarily troublesome to make the transition from the company world to running the family business within the marine refrigeration business. Once I learned to be open with others at events, I used to be overwhelmed with support and steerage, and I made new friends and connections who genuinely wanted me to succeed. This all happened because I made a decision to be vulnerable and share my situation. Should you’re going through a exhausting time and are around like-minded people, it is doubtless that other attendees are going through similar situations or have before and know exactly how to help.
#7. Be Curious
The more events I attend, the more curious I permit myself to be. At a recent event in Dallas, I saw a guy eating by himself on the bar. He had a conference badge around his neck, so I knew we already had something in common. I asked him if he really wanted to eat alone, and invited him to sit with the group I used to be eating with as an alternative. We had several valuable conversations about our businesses that day and the subsequent and made a wonderful connection.
Without being curious and going out of my way to supply a friendly invitation, I might’ve never met him and lots of others. Value from serendipity is dependent upon you permitting it to occur. Be curious.
#8. Mark Your Cards
Asking for a business card is making a commitment to contact that person sometime sooner or later. I get business cards from people who I would like to develop relationships with and I mark them to help me keep in mind who they’re, what we talked about, the date, where we met and a next step to take after the event. These events could be overwhelming, and it is easy to forget details. After meeting someone and taking a business card, take a second to write notes on the back of the cardboard to help you keep in mind, it’ll enhance your relationships afterward.
#9. Follow Up with a Thank You Card
Desire to show your appreciation and stay top of mind with the people you’ve got met? Nothing says you care like taking the time to handwrite a thanks card after meeting someone at an event. I write thanks cards to everybody that had an impact on me, letting them know that I appreciate the time and help they gave me and supply my help in return.
#10. Begin Long-Lasting Relationships
Events are sometimes seen as one-weekend excuses to get out of the workplace and spend a while in a sunny destination. Living within the South Florida space, I can not argue with the gorgeous weather and scenery as a worthwhile reason for travelers to visit, however events supply a lot greater than a chance to get away.