As a first time attendee to SMPS Build Business, I want to make sure that I experience all there is to offer at the national conference for professional services marketers. So before I head off to the City of Brotherly Love I thought it would be a good idea to ask some long time attendees for their advice on how to get the most out of this conference. Here are the 5 tips I found most useful.
Keep in mind, these tips can be used when attending any conference.
Five Essential Tips for Conference Success
- Make intros memorable. You are sure to meet more people than you can remember. The same is true for the people you hope to make an impression on. The key to being memorable is to practice how you will introduce yourself. Introduction should intrigue your connection to make them want to learn more. “Hi, I’m Graham I’m a marketer” won’t cut it. Focus on how you and your company add value to your clients. Give the discussion purpose. Perhaps your newfound contact is facing a challenge and you can help them overcome it. Stand out from the crowd by leaving each new contact with a feeling of time and energy well invested.
- Identify the best way to capture contact info. Do you have a plan for capturing important details gathered from your networking efforts? Do you plan on jotting details down on a napkin to send off to someone else to enter in your CRM system? Or perhaps you are planning on entering everything immediately using your mobile device. Thinking this process through before the conference will allow you to have a system in place to get the most out of your networking efforts.
- Pre-schedule meetings. Prescheduling meetings is my favorite tip for attending any I believe that the primary focus of attending a conference should be to network and connect with people. The number one way to do that is to begin networking and connecting before the conference even begins. Try sending out emails to contacts that you know will be on site, or even create a landing page on your website advertising your attendance to the conference. Better yet, pick up the phone and set-up meetings to have drinks or lunch with contacts.
- Have a plan, be willing to adjust. Have you seen the program for this year’s SMPS Build Business? There are a ton of awesome programs! Take your time before the conference to map out your roadmap for sessions you want to attend. However, show up to the conference willing to pivot and adjust on the sessions you attend. You never know when the opportunity will arise to attend a session with an old client or new prospect.
- Dress accordingly. You are set for some long days ahead -- between breakout sessions, networking breaks walking the exhibit hall and everything else that goes into attending a conference. Make sure to wear the right shoes – taking care of your feet will keep you mobile and ready to network. Also, don’t forget to dress appropriately to accommodate for changes in room temperature.