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5 Ways to Maximize Your Return at Events | Print |  E-mail


When you attend events, do you have a plan?  Recently, a client
said he was going to attend a trade show as a way to develop
business.  When asked about his plan, he said he didn't have one.
Attending without a plan would have been a colossal waste of time.

What about you?  Whether you're attending a trade show, a
conference, or even a networking event, the best way to maximize
your investment of time and money is to have a plan.

For a networking event, your plan can be as simple as knowing who
you want to talk to and what you want to talk to them about and
scheduling time on your calendar for follow up after you return
from the event. For a conference or trade show, your plan could be
just as simple or it could be more complex.

Here are five tips you can use to plan for your next conference or
trade show:

1. Look at the list of speakers and decide who you would like to
talk to.  Attend the session and plan to talk to the presenter
before or afterwards.  Or, you could linger in the hallway outside
the room to catch the presenter before or after the talk. 

2. Get a list of attendees (if possible) and decide who you would
like to meet.  Make a point of looking for their name tag or asking
others if they know those you want to meet.

3. Be prepared to ask thoughtful questions during educational
sessions.  Notice who else is asking thoughtful questions and
approach them after the session as a way to continue the dialogue.

4. If you have a free night during a conference, book a table at a
restaurant ahead of time and then invite people you meet to join
you for dinner.

5. Schedule time in your calendar for follow up after you return
from the event.   No matter how simple or complex your plan, the
crucial element, and the one most people neglect, is scheduling
time on your calendar for follow up after you return from the
event.  All too often, people attend functions where they have
interesting conversations and gather business cards but then they
don't do anything to continue the relationship once they return to
their offices. Making a contact is not enough; building a
relationship is the key.
Using some of these ideas and adding some of your own to create a
plan that works for you will help you make the most of the next
networking event, conference, or trade show that you attend.



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Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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