In the last part of this article (click here to read it) I talked about why it is important to make sure you get the most out of each event, conference or exhibition you attend and how you can prepare for the event.
In this second part of the article I am going to give you tips and advice on how to make the most of the event while you are actually there and what to do after the event to maximise your value.
During the Event . . .
1. Take Care of Yourself
It’s going to be a long day, so make sure you are prepared to make it through the whole day.
Food & Drink – This is usually available to purchase, but is not always conveniently located and usually charged at a premium because you are somewhat of a captive audience. Take some healthy, high energy snacks and bottles of water to carry with you so you can keep your energy levels up and stay hydrated.
Avoid a Big Lunch – Having a big meal at lunchtime seems like a good idea, but it can put you in a food coma for the afternoon. Fend of the energy crash and eat a light lunch or just eat little and often as you go.
Wear Comfortable Shoes – You are going to be on your feet a lot and doing a lot of walking. I know you are going to meet a lot of people and you want to look your best, but trust me, you are not going to look or feel your best if you are in pain and can’t walk because your feet are killing you.
Pace Yourself – Yes, you have a lot to get done in the day, but you also want to enjoy it and be at your best. So take plenty of breaks, don’t rush and if you need to, find a quiet corner and have a rest.
2. Realise Where the Value Is
Don’t spend all your time sitting in seminars and presentations. Often the best ideas and and opportunities come from a chance meeting in the halls. In the last part of this series I told you to have a plan, but to be flexible. Don’t be afraid to skip a session or seminar to continue a conversation you are enjoying or to start up a new one . . . you never know where it might lead.
3. The 3:3:3 Approach to Networking
Zig Ziglar said, “You will get what you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
If you are not a natural networker you can try the 3:3:3 approach.
- Help three people with something without expecting anything in return
- Introduce three people to someone that can help them in a meaningful way
- Deepen existing relationships with three people you already know at the event.
If you can do this as a minimum each day at the event, I guarantee you that not only will you will make a lasting impression that will be remembered, but you will feel great.
4. Listen More than you Talk
The analogy goes that you have two ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as much as you talk. When you do talk, make it to ask questions of the other person to allow them to talk more. You will make far deeper connections with people by listening to them and hearing what they have to say, rather than trying to force what you want to say on to them.
“You will get what you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
After the event . . .
Give yourself and everyone else a day or two to recover, then follow these final steps:
Send an email to everyone you met at the event. It doesn’t have to be long, just a message saying that it was great to meet them and here are your contact details. Make sure you include some personal note in each one. It could be something you talked about or something you hope they saw at the event. Make sure it is something that shows you remember who they were and that this is a personal message, not just one you have sent out to everyone.
Look at Your Notes
In the last article I told you to take 2 types of notes. Take the notes that do not directly contribute to your next most important business goal and discard them. This sounds harsh, but they are not going to help you right now, so let them go. If you don’t want to lose them completely then file them somewhere to come back to later. The point is to get them out of your head so you can focus 100% on the ones that help you reach your original goal.
I hope these tips make your next event your best one ever, get in touch with any event stories you have in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you!
Have a fantastic event!