At a conference, you have the chance to create new connections and exciting opportunities. To maximize time and the investment, however, it’s vital to plan strategically.
To establish the most authentic relationships, conduct tactical research well before the conference date. Peruse the vendor list and do some research on the types of attendees that have come in past years. By getting to know who will be there and the demographics of attendees, including their companies, industries and business roles, you can be sure to plan the booths and panels you visit accordingly.
When conducting your research, start with the big picture and work backward from there. First, decide what you ultimately want out of the conference. Then, plan a comprehensive strategy to achieve the goal. This may include choosing which breakout sessions to attend and what speakers to meet. While being at the right conference at the right time is a good first step, to truly maximize ROI there must be a strategy rooted in goals. Don’t forget the focus on education and industry updates. You never know what new information will be obtained.
The preparation before and work during a conference is highly important. What is equally vital, and more often forgotten, is a strategy to implement after the conference is over. Once the conference has come to a close, there should be a plan in place y to maximize on the connections you have made.. After the conference is over, write an email to each person you met and want to keep a rapport with. There is power in touching base after an event, especially if the email can be tailored to the person and company. In the flurry of a conference, people are overwhelmed by the number of booths and people they encounter. When you follow up in a meaningful way and share something with real value, like a note about how great that happy hour was, or a ‘thank you’ for referring you to a great book, authentic relationships can start to flourish.