1. Bring a Buddy!
Ask a professional colleague or business friend to become your conference buddy, so you can share what you learn. You can also be an accountability partner for when it’s time to put into action the things that you have learned.
2. Stay at the conference's designated accommodations
You need to be where you can grow your network most effectively. Meeting conference attendees in the lobby or by chance in the hall is a great way to expand your network.
3. Take plenty of business cards, to help new acquaintances remember you
Tactfully collect as many business cards as you can, so you can follow up with post cards, E-mails, phone calls and coffee meet ups
4. Become an active participant, asking questions and making comments
The topics will take on new life for you. Meet every speaker you listen to and tell them your “take-away” from their session, they will appreciate the feed back and possibly give you a personalized suggestion of how you can implement the information.
5. Meet and thank everyone who served on the conference planning committee
They deserve your compliments. And when you thank them, you will definitely stand out as one of the few who did.
6. Participate in the larger conversation
Use our event hashtag #spaLEADers2019. Leading up to and during the event, make sure you’re tagging your tweets and Instagram properly. You can also monitor the hashtag throughout the conference to see what people are talking about. Striking up a conversation online is a great way to reach out to someone you’re interested in meeting but haven’t come across in person yet.
7. Connect with our LEAD social pages to stay in the loop
8. Find out who’s going
The people you’ll meet at the conference are as important as the conference itself.
9. Having business cards doesn’t nessessarily mean you’re ready to attend the conference
Before you start mingling, come up with an “elevator pitch”, which should consist of a few things:
- Your name
- What you do
- Why you are attending
In addition to those three elements, keep your pitch shorter than 30 seconds, and keep it relevant to the conference.
Here’s an example:
“Hi, my name is Joanne Smith. I am a spa owner in Bowmanville and have a large clientele for waxing and I would like to expand my business to include body treatments. I am here to learn the skills that will allow me to scale up and brand my business so people know me for all the services I offer.”
10. Don’t eat lunch with your friends
You won’t want to miss the delectable lunch we have planned for you at LEAD. Be sure get your lunch right away then use the time to meet new people, and make connections. When you do sit down, introduce yourself, and get involved in the conversation. You’ll be amazed at who you will meet over a 30-minute meal.
11. Walk the floor
Take some time to visit our sponsors and vendors. See if there are any companies you’re interested in. Even if you don’t buy anything, you can still get a lot from the exhibitors. Other than swag, you can get information on services that will help your business grow.
12. Attend the pre and post-parties
The biggest value of a conference is the parties. This is where you’ll get the best information. When people are relaxed, they’ll end up talking and sharing more. The best connections can be made over a glass of wine chatting about what you hope to learn or have learned and how you will work it into your business plan. This is also the time to build your circle of advisors.
13. Don’t forget to follow up
At this point, the conference is over, right? Technically it is, but for you, it isn’t. You should set aside some time to follow up with every person you met at the event. If you don’t, you’ll never end up building any real relationships. Meeting someone is great, but if you don’t get to know the people you meet, you won’t gain the full value from the conference.