Events are a great opportunity to find inspiration, build (business) relations, drive sales. However, just the fact that you are going does not get the job done, you need to make an effort and properly prepare for the upcoming event, if you truly want to make the most of it. Here are a few ideas on how to do it right.
The new year is right around the corner and for many of us that comes along with rounding up the just ending budget period and planning the following one. In particular, I have in mind the business actions mature organizations will follow, which act according to specific standards. Events have a crucial role among many different company activities, due to the fact that they help build relations, which drive sales. The number of conferences, fairs, business parties and corporate events are on a constant rise what sustains the importance of events in business. The beginning of the 4th quarter is a perfect occasion to sum up your activities in the events industry, comprehend what knowledge you’ve collected, what relations you’ve built and what advantages you’ve gained. All this, so everything could be done twice as good and more effective next year.
If so happens, that during such an evaluation we reach a conclusion that not everything met our expectations, usually a question is raised: Who’s fault is it ? Is it the organizer, who did not put enough thought and effort to find the ideal solutions for their attendees or maybe we ignored some details during the preparations? Usually, two sides are to blame. The organizers, of course, do tend not to help and treat events in an analog way, believing that their attendees gain value from f2f meetings. They are right, but not completely because to be effective you need to act according to plans and at this point the organizers should pay more attention to their attendees. Imagine that the whole information flow and all of the communication could be carried out thanks to one tool. The website is not only an information source, but a functional tool, which allows the attendees to choose who they want to arrange business meetings with and what lectures they want to attend, while sipping wine in the comfort of their homes. Nowadays, all of this is possible but in reality it looks slightly different. Your satisfaction from the event is up to you, dear attendee, and how well you prepare. Here are a few tips on how to do this right.
Find the right event.
We use many different methods. Look up keywords in search engines, opinions about the event (not always from the event’s official website), check social media. If we think we found the right one, we sign up and start preparing.
Connect with the speakers.
The first information that appears is the speakers. It is important to have the possibility of asking them what their lectures are going to be about and suggest what topics might be most appealing to you. If you manage to make contact, you can count on some extra value from the lectures (after all this is what you wanted to hear about). In addition, it’s the group of people surrounding the speakers who usually seem unreachable and in fact, these are the people you want to know!
Find others’ accommodation.
Check where the speakers and other attendees are staying at during the event. This is crucial information, but how to find out? Sometimes the organizer can give you this information and at other times you need to follow internet source (people like to brag about the places they visit). But why is this important anyway? The answer is simple: a talk during breakfast can bring better results than one during a coffee break. People are more relaxed and don’t feel overwhelmed by the crowd or pressure from other attendees and there are definitely less interruptions.
Identify people you want to connect with.
Using social media, check who else will be attending the event. Find out if any of these people should be of any interest to you. IMPORTANT, this does not mean that you need to gain anything. I truly believe in the right of giving. If you are capable of helping another person and he later will be seeking for a person of your profession or simply with your interests – he will come back to you. How to check and verify people? LinkedIn and Facebook come in handy here – they are really a great source of information. I know that this is not rocket science, but who remembers to do this and does this in the first place?
Don’t forget them after the meeting.
After a meeting, remember to do a follow up. Thank the person, add them to your contacts and when there comes a time when support is needed, don’t forget about this person.
You are probably wondering, why I haven’t yet named a tool that is right for the job. Just because one tool for all of this doesn’t exist yet. Everyone uses what they know best. The ones I find most helpful are: Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Brand24 and the conference website.
Does this allow me to more effectively plan my events in the future? Yes, but it takes a lot of effort. I hope that Eventory Planning (stay tuned!) will be a big help.