I love conference season and it’s about to kick into high gear. After years of attending several from SHRM, to Adobe Max, to SXSW, to Blogalicious, Hispanicize, and many others, I’ve developed some sure fire tips to get the most out of a conference, which I’m happy to share with you today.
I had no idea what I was doing when I attended my first conference several years ago. I was just happy to be out of the office, learn some cool new things, and get to see a new city. The draw of getting to see a new city is actually what drew me to attend the conference that led me to add digital content creator to my resume, and I’ve loved every minute of it.
If you too want to get your money’s worth from attending a conference, and ultimately find your dream job(s), here are a few suggestions to get you on your way, followed by a fun giveaway at the end, that you don’t miss!
Bring Your A Game
You’re obviously attending the conference to add knowledge, skills, and new names to your network to make you an expert in your field, so you need to present yourself accordingly to attract these things your way. To that end you want to make sure that everything about you represents you and your brand from head to toe. So bring your A game. Not only look wise, but in everything you do and use to communicate. Regardless of what field you’re in, you will undoubtedly be on your mobile devices taking notes, keeping up with work stuff, family stuff, and/or using social media to share the event with the rest of the world, and/or to try to win exhibitor contests and giveaways. So don’t be that person that runs out of power and is stuck missing notes, memories, or selfie chances because your device has powered down. Carry your power cords, power cards/packs (like this Ultra Thin Smartphone Charger from Monster®), and selfie aids (like this Monster Mobile Selfie Case for iPhone 6) at all times, to keep you in the game.
Don’t Forget Your Business Cards
I know business cards can feel a bit antiquated, but it’s still the easiest way to share your contact information with most attendees. So make sure you always bring plenty of cards with you and get creative with them so they truly represent you. And don’t be shy about adding your picture into the design. This is the best way to help those brands, companies, and/or fellow conference goers remember you after meeting 100-1000 others of you in the same field.
Develop Your Elevator Pitch
Conferences are generally filled with people in similar fields as you, so just having a cool business card with a trendy job title, isn’t enough to set you apart from the rest. As you mix and mingle, you need to have a clear message of who you are and what you have to offer to peak others interests.
So take some time to craft a sentence or two that concisely communicates your name, that of your business/brand, and what you have to offer, in connection with what the conference and conversation are about of course.
Hi, how are you? My name is Jane Doe and I own SEO Max, which specializes in helping companies increase their web traffic through successfully proven SEO strategies, which to date has resulted in over 1,000,000 impressions with a less than 10% bounce rate.
As you can see, having this information stored in your head, makes it that much easier to organically work it into conversation.
Strategize your networking game
Now that you’ve developed your elevator pitch, it’s time to put it to work for you. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to meet every person in attendance. Instead, I suggest you concentrate on meeting those you can build valuable relationships with. With that in mind, I encourage you to take some time to study the agenda and the list of speakers to determine which are the must attend sessions. Next, look through the list of exhibitors and attendees to strategize who you should try to connect with in between sessions. Yes, sessions are great to attend, but it’s ok to skip a few here and there to connect with fellow attendees and exhibitors to make valuable connections and even snag some cool swag.
Don’t miss the after-parties
The one thing I’ve learned about attending conferences is that there is truly something to be said about attending after-parties. And it’s not just about continuing to get your buzz on, it’s simply the best time to catch people with their walls down, in an intimate, fun setting, which makes it easier to bond and get to know each other on a deeper, more organic level.
So even if you’re tired, try to at least hit up one after party and let loose. Don’t be the crazy drunk, but enjoy, share, and bond. I know I’ve had many an opportunity come my way as a result of some great after hours convos.
Once the conference is over, make it a point to follow up with everyone you exchange contact information with, to build relationships. And in the era of social media that can be as simple as following each other online and commenting on posts, or sending follow up emails. The choice is up to you. Just make sure you reach out in some way, identify yourself and how you met, and continue the connection.
Yes, a lot to think about, but once you’ve worked out the first few, the rest is easy. So get crackn’ so you’re ready to take on your next conference like a boss.
And to help, I’ve decided to offer up this fab giveaway of an Ultra Thin Smartphone Charger from Monster® which is a great value, easy to transport with it being only a quarter of an inch thick, weighs 1.6 ounces, and packs a powerful punch for a quick charge on the go; a Monster Mobile Selfie Case for iPhone 6, which allows you to go hands free as you mount your phone to smooth, flat, glossy vertical surfaces, plus it’s shock absorbent and impact resistant; along with a Starbucks gift card to get you going. Definitely a great investment whether you win them here, or invest in yourself and buy them on your own.
So what are you waiting for? Enter away and share this with all your family and friends to get their conference game on point too!
What conference tips can you add and/or which conferences are must do’s in your book?
Thanks Monster® for providing the products featured. Don’t worry though, all opinions about their fabulousness are my own.
Disclosure: Your Sassy Self is not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Open to US residents only (48 states). This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.