11 Quick Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Next Business Event
You’re getting ready for a big business event. More than likely, you’ve dished out a pretty penny to attend said conference, convention, or networking opportunity. It will definitely cut into your time, is most likely a little bit nerve-wracking, and can even be exhausting.
Regardless of your concerns, there are ample reasons to attend these types of events. While there, time will be of the essence and you want to make the most of each moment. Your business will thank you later for your prudence. With these quick tips, you’ll be a business event aficionado in no time!
Before. You don’t want to be scrambling the first day, so be sure to arrive fully prepared. Find out ahead of time what the dress code is and bring plenty of qualified outfit options. Don’t forget a stack of business cards and any other necessary tools you need to succeed, such as a laptop, smart device, and journal and pens.
Beyond packing all essential supplies, you’ll also want to create a mental list of goals you want to get out of your event. To help determine your goals, ask yourself a few basic questions, such as:
- What’s my purpose for going?
- What do I want to get out of this event overall?
- What do I want to get out of each session/presentation?
- Who do I want to bump elbows with?
- Is this a social engagement or strictly business?
During. Always arrive early; no one wants to be known as the late guy/gal. Also, come with an open mind, enthusiasm, excitement, and friendliness. Even if you’re feeling nervous, a simple smile can go a long way when it comes to networking and meeting potential contacts.
When meeting new business people, look for opportunities to engage by shaking hands, making eye contact, or handing out your business card. Make interactions brief but meaningful so that you can network with a larger group of attendees.
At certain types of events, you’ll have to pick and choose which presentations you wish to attend because oftentimes multiple will be running concurrently. Opt for ones that will benefit your business the most, not just those whose topics interest you. Don’t overload yourself with so much information, attending so many lectures that the information isn’t able to sink in. Pad your schedule lightly if possible to take a mid-morning break and mid-afternoon break so you can rehash what you learned that day. During presentations, always take notes so you can reference highlights later.
After. While you may have traveled home and unpacked your suitcase, your event isn’t necessarily complete. Take the time directly following a business engagement to reach out to the new contacts you met. Send them an email encouraging the door of communication to remain open. Also, if possible, send the presenters and the organizations hosting the event a thank you for their hard work.
Feel ready for your next big networking or business event? What are some other tips you could recommend to novice attendees to help them get the most out of conferences and conventions?