Over my past 15 years’ involvement with organized real estate and attending eight to ten conferences per year, I have developed a list of conferencing tips.
These are not inexpensive events, they are great business opportunities for networking and referrals, so you need to make sure you're prepared.
Here are some thoughts to consider:
- Make sure you have twice the cards or presentation folders that you think you might need. Choose business cards over extra shoes!
- Do not go anywhere without lots of cards in every pocket or purse. Do not be that person who on the second day of the conference has no card.
- If you have a company name badge, make sure that you wear it at all times on leaving your hotel room.
- If there are suppliers at the show, they will want your cards and will offer you incentives. If you give them, you may be on their mailing lists so just know that you may get lots of contacts on your return.
- Make sure that you circulate and meet others rather than being together as a group, unless we present as a team. Do not spend time with people you know. Remember, these are opportunities to be with referral sources, incoming and outgoing.
- Always sit with people you do not know. Do not be a wallflower. Always move to the center of the room and speak to people.
- Practice having an “Open Face”, inviting conversation and not discouraging it.
- Secure as many cards as you can and add them to your database. Having them in your database means nothing if you do not have a plan to connect with them. Set a goal to bring 50 to 100 cards back to your room every night.
- Watch the alcohol: you are there to have a great time but too much partying means you may miss sessions and you don’t want to be the person known for dancing on a table or snoring through the General Session.
- Lastly If you do go partying remember this… Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may not be your friend, always remember:
“No photos after nine or with a glass of wine”
Title photo by Cydcor