How to Make the Most of Conferences and Meetings

I have spent the last few days at a networking event called PLATFORM with Michael Hyatt and Ken Davis. When I go to these events, learning is top on my list. I want to learn from those that are speaking and those around me. But also I want to network. Most meetings I go to cost me at least $1000 plus travel – so I want to try to make it worth it.

But, going into a meeting where I know few people is always a struggle for that introvert in me. As I am reflecting on the last few days, here are the things I did to prepare.

  1. PreConnect to Speakers – I researched who was speaking and connected with each of them. For some it was simply following on Twitter, but others I connected with via email or Facebook. The idea was to already meet them before I got there. This just made it easier for me. I hate walking in cold.
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  2. PreConnect with Leaders – Likewise, I connected with the leaders. This is not just the key speakers, but those who manage the conference. In this case it was Joy. She was the one sending the emails. And, she was 100% in charge of the event. Knowing her going in was helpful to me. I connected to her by asking some questions about the room layout before the conference and offering to help. In this case, they had it under control. But I know often in events chaos sets in the last day or two, so I wanted her to know I was willing to chip in and make it happen if she needed.
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  3. PreConnect to participants – I intentionally talked to people in the hotel who were part of the conference  before it even started. Again, if I can make connections before I get into a group of 150 people, this is better for me.
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  4. Act Fast – I met as many people as I could in the first few minutes. This is hard for me, but I try to lock-in and talk to people and learn about where they are from and what they do as well as what they hope to learn. But one key it to get those names down and in writing. (Something I did not do very well.)
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  5. Connect Deeper – After the first day, I did a little research. I looked up those who I met so I got their inside picture.
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  6. Reconnect –  The second day I reconnected with those I had met. This is essential since I can forget people so quick.
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  7. Play Full Out – Michael Hyatt wrote a post on this a while back. Often meetings I have paid for and travelled to I interrupt myself with phone calls and email. I will step out of sessions to handle minor business issues. While this is part my A.D.D. – I feel like I miss out. So this time, I played  full out.  I did the work, participated, asked questions, and talked to others instead of checking my iPhone and dealing with email.
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  8. Recap after the meeting – Right after the meeting when I was home, I connected with those I met on social media –  if I had not already done so during the program. This is a critical time to reconnect with them and lock in who you met.
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  9. Follow-up on opportunities - I might wait a few days on this, since everyone has to regroup after a meeting. But I want to strike fast on special connections I might have made with people who are like minded. Now is the time for joint ventures and activity.

Soon I will reflect on some things I heard and learned which I feel with be a huge value to those of you who were not at the meeting. This was an excellent group of people and their focus was inspirational.

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Question: How do you get the biggest impact from your meetings?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

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