A conference is a huge opportunity to build relationships with extraordinary people. People who might have a significant impact on your professional or personal success. You know it. I know it. But all too often, we don’t take the proper steps to maximize the return on our investment of time and money to attend the conference.
Take a stand right now! No longer can you afford to be a conference couch potato. Instead, you have to become a Conference Ninja.
Here are 13 tips to help you do just that:
Tip #1: Get (and Keep) the List
Get the list of conference attendees. Some how, some way. Call the conference organizers, ask your friends who are going if they know of other attendees. Do whatever it takes. Then go through the list and note those you want to meet. Keep that list with you at all times during the conference (including social events) so you know whom you’ve met and whom you still need to meet.
Tip #2: Gather Intel on Your Targets
If you want to get to know someone, the first thing you should do is figure out how you can help them. Google them. Their business interests will be most obvious, but do some deeper research to learn about their personal side. Then find your currency for them – your experience, knowledge, contacts, or resources that can make them more successful. And get this: the best part of doing your homework is that it doesn’t have to be a secret. When you meet your target contact, say, “I always make a special effort to research the people I’d like to meet.” Inevitably, people are flattered. Wouldn’t you be?
Tip #3: Start Early
Don’t wait for the conference to start your networking. A week or two beforehand, pick up the phone and call at least the top three people you want to be sure to meet. Begin your conversations now and/or arrange a time for when you arrive at the conference. Can’t get past their gatekeepers? Surprise them with a personal note or a voice message when they arrive at the conference. For example – you could say something like, “I’ll be downstairs at 8 with a few people for drinks and dinner. Would you like to join us?”
Tip #4: Consider Yourself Part of the Program
Never just attend a conference. You should be sure to speak, too, even if your name isn’t on the program. While keynote speakers are basically given hour-long infomercials for their brands, you can acquire a 30-second commercial for yours just by asking a thoughtful question during Q&A. Stand tall, say your name and what you do, and then ask a great question. Then enjoy your temporary celebrity status after the session. People will be eager to approach you once you’ve been introduced in a public forum.
Okay, so have I tickled your interest as to how you can become a ninja at your next conference? Well, in order to get the remaining 9 tips, you only have to do 1 really simple thing. Just enter your email address below and I’ll personally send you the goods. Yes, that’s right. You can download my eBook: “13 Easy Ways to Become a Conference Ninja” for no cost at all by simply entering your email address below. Here’s to your success at becoming a Conference Ninja. Enjoy!