If it so happens that you wasting your money and time when you are attending conferences you should pay close attention to the following tips that will help you become more efficient and create extremely fruitful business connections.
Given my profession, attending conferences is a must, not only as a speaker but also as an attendee. However, even in the case of experienced entrepreneurs it so happens that sometimes they feel like they don’t get their money’s worth after attending a conference. In my opinion, the main problem consists in not attending classes or not receiving training which should teach you what to do and what tools to use during a conference to maximize my experience.
Recently, I came across Tyler Wagner’s book called “Conference Crushing” which is an Amazon bestseller. This book provides extremely useful insight into creating business connections.
The tips that I found the most interesting in the book were as follows:
So, you’re getting ready to attend a conference and you don’t know what you are going to do and how to create meaningful dialogue. How do you start a networking conversation? Make sure you do your research beforehand regarding the businesspeople that attend the conference. This will provide an enormous advantage and facilitate your insertion into a meaningful dialogue rather than just asking plain old boring questions such as “What do you do”.
While some people consider this aspect to be a tad creepy, I always feel impressed when a person I am meeting for the first time knows several aspects about me or my activity in the field. This in turn determines me to learn more about the person I am talking to. Moreover, the probability of assuming that said person is trying to sell me on something drastically decreases.
Before the Conference
The book proves to be a useful tool to learn how experts get things done in the networking environment. For example, the book offers an example of an introvert person and ways on how he or she can surpass most of the hurdles. Tyler suggests that after the conversation has begun, you should continue and ask open-minded questions. It’s a proven fact in the business environment that, the less you say, the more the person you’re talking to likes you. After the conversation has run its course you should end with the usual “It was a pleasure meeting you. I had an amazing conversation”. This will ensure you’ve just made a connection for life.
In the book, Tyler suggests that in order to maximize the conference experience you should “fall in love with the people”, which translates into accepting them unconditionally and notice how the wheels in their heads are turning. Moreover, you should make the people around you feel comfortable. In turn, they will most definitely return the favor.
Last but not least, Tyler offers some cool tricks which you should apply after the conference. The most interesting one is to take notes during the conference and sending out several notes to the people you’ve just met or posting them to the groups you’ve just formed as a result of the conference. By doing this, you ensure to offer value back to the newly established connections. Moreover, they will feel indebted when you decide to reach out for a follow-up. Given what you’ve learned, if you consider that two attendees hit it off, you should add that to the narrative. The best way to approach a conference and maximize its experience is by using a systematic approach which encompasses planning and the purposeful follow-up.