Conferences can be a busy time, with many opportunities for exchanging ideas, information sharing, and networking. If you are not clear about your objectives, attending a business event can seem overwhelming. To help you get the most from your next conference, we’ve provided a handy checklist to ensure your upcoming business event goes off without a hitch, outlining what to do before, during, and after the big day. Network with confidence, anytime, anywhere. We are here to help you leave a lasting impression, build authentic business relationships, and enhance your brand visibility. Keep these ideas in mind at your next business event!
Before the Conference:
Review the Agenda
Use the conference agenda to guide you through the presentation topics and speakers most relevant to the success of your business. Perhaps certain sessions will spark your interest in areas that can help boost your company’s productivity, so you could prepare questions tailored to address those particular needs. It is also beneficial to learn more about the speakers and companies that will be attending the event, as it allows you to identify useful contacts before the conference. While you will undoubtedly run into some potential clients and partners at the summit, you can maximize your opportunity for success by doing some research before your trip. This will help you focus your attention on the most valuable leads and business connections. Contacting the selected attendees before the event might be beneficial, as you can use the valuable conference time to focus on discussing key questions.
Set Goals, and Define the Path to Reach Them
Conferences provide a venue for accomplishing specific business objectives. Therefore, to maximize the return on your investment, it is helpful to define specific goals for the event. You may want to discuss with your team what objectives you hope to achieve as a business. Asking for input from multiple team members could offer you additional insight and a broader perspective regarding the targets for your participation.
After that, you may wish to formulate some specific SMART goals that will help you take concrete steps toward achieving your goals at the conference. For instance, if you are focused on expanding your network, you might want to seek out new contacts during the intermissions and receptions. At the same time, you want to ensure that you put your business forward by preparing some business cards to maximize your network expansion efforts. Alternatively, you can use the LinkedIn mobile app to easily connect with people you met at the event. Gear up for success at every conference by making sure that you are well equipped.
Automate the Essentials to Stay Focused
Business conferences require your full attention and the ability to stay focused. It is important to take advantage of all potentially valuable insights presented by the speakers and to engage in discussions with end users. However, concentrating can be difficult if you are distracted by work-related notifications. Hence, to take advantage of every opportunity, it is important to be present and dedicate your full attention to the event. Thus, you need to inform your team that you will not be available during the time of the conference. For instance, setting an out-of-office reply can be effective in letting others know you are away and will not be checking your email.
During the event:
Connect with Potential Customers
The best way to reach your potential clients is to meet them in person. Research indicates that contacting potential leads offline is more effective than doing so online. Businesses that meet their clients face-to-face have a 40% conversion rate, as opposed to 16% for businesses that do not. The conference provides a forum for you to showcase your company’s product and expertise. You should consider inviting potential leads to a business dinner after the conference, to help you lay the groundwork for future business relationships. An informal atmosphere will help you to be more personable, thereby enabling you to build better, more genuine relationships.
Network with Industry Leaders
One of the central features of every conference is networking. Meeting many C-level executives in a short period of time is an efficient way to make valuable contacts. Therefore, it is crucial to be approachable and reach out to different attendees throughout the conference. Establishing connections with people outside your comfort zone can help you build a network of lifelong business relationships. Thus, it can be beneficial to initiate small talk with other participants on several occasions during a single session. For example, it is common for attendees to strike up conversations between speeches, during coffee breaks, as well as before or after the event. Sharing a space with innovative and creative business experts may facilitate long-lasting partnerships, a valuable opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.
Showcase your Brand
Becoming a presenting or an exhibition partner at the event can be beneficial in maximizing your brand visiility. Potential clients who attend conferences seek out the most innovative and cost-efficient business solutions. As a result, presenting an insightful speech or unveiling a groundbreaking product will position your company two steps ahead of its rivals. Industry-tailored events are one of the best venues for meeting a premier clientele, including leaders within the sector. Taking advantage of the opportunities offered by conference organizers can help you form valuable contacts. Ensure that your brand is easily recognizable and do not be afraid to set yourself apart from the competition.
After the conference:
Follow up on Leads
Meeting people at the conference is only the first step towards establishing business connections. It is a good idea to stay in touch with the experts you meet at the events, as this can lead to future opportunities. Two different approaches can be taken. If you have met people you believe could prove valuable to your business in the future, do not hesitate to email them after the event, detailing how much you appreciated meeting them. At the same time, you could be setting up the foundation for future projects. However, if you were able to establish an immediate interest with a particular lead, you can start planning a business call to explore collaboration opportunities.
Share Insights with Others in the Workplace
Conferences are an excellent way to gain valuable business insights. As a result, you should take the time to share what you learned at the event with your colleagues. Effective note-taking will help you remember the most important points of each presentation. Proactively informing colleagues of the industry’s latest developments that you grasped during the event will help to make your business more effective and advantageous in the market. There are several different ways to pass on your knowledge effectively. You could lead a face-to-face session, write an email with supporting details, or make a thoughtful post on the platform you use for communication. This will allow you to make the most of your time, possibly resulting in the development of a useful business strategy.
Join the Conversation Online
Following up on your experiences at the conference online may help you shape future professional endeavors. Sharing the summit outcomes with your online community will help you to enlarge your network of contacts. It can be useful to tag the conference hosts on social media in order to generate a larger conversation online. You may find that new leads reach out to you for collaboration after seeing your online presence. By sharing your experiences, you’ll increase your brand visibility and connect with more potential contacts from the event.