How to Get the Most from Marketing Conferences
In a few weeks, Peter and I will be attending Affiliate Summit West in Vegas for their annual conference. We usually attend 2-3 internet marketing conferences per year & some of the best connections that we have made in the internet marketing industry have come out of attending conferences.
Throughout this post, I am going to talk about the benefits of attending a conference; regardless of the industry you may be in.
Plan In Advance
Whenever you attend a conference, it is a good idea to plan your schedule in advance, considering people you want to meet up with and events you want to attend. Many people go to conferences to “wander around” and miss out on making any valuable connections.
If there is someone within your industry that you want to network with, reach out to them and see if they want to get drinks or meet up. You will be using your time much more effectively when you actively prepare a schedule ahead of time.
Of course, you should also budget some free time for networking with the people you meet while attending the conference.
Attend Private Events
At most conferences, there are RSVP events available for attendees to socialize over drinks/cocktails throughout the night. Typically, these events are where the most solid networking happens.
When people are in a more relaxed social environment (and have been drinking alcohol) they are much more likely to open up, and maybe even share some tips or secrets with you.
Private events like these are always a goldmine for meeting interesting people and building valuable connections.
Bring Value First
Often the biggest mistake that I see people make when they are networking at conferences is to focus too much on what the other person can do for them. Instead, you should take the opposite approach.
Find out what the other person’s needs are, and see if you have any advice to offer them. This will, in turn, make the other person feel valued and more likely to reciprocate going forward.
PROTIP: keep one or two very good, actionable tips memorized to share with the people you are networking with. Lead with your tip and they will likely give you one in return. If you talk to 15 people and 10 of them give you different tips back, you have gotten a 10x return on your one good tip.
Try Not to Attend Too Many Talks
At most conferences, there are talks and workshops running for the entire day/weekend. Personally, whenever I attend events I try not to go to many of these.
I might only attend one 30 minute talk about something I’m interested in for the whole conference. Especially if the conference isn’t an expensive workshop; often, the event speakers are not sharing too much “groundbreaking” knowledge.
Instead, focus on networking. It is unlikely that whatever the talk is about will help you directly in your business. You will get much more value by building connections with other people.
I hope you have found this post useful, what are your favorite benefits of attending a conference? Let us know in the comments below
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