I get giddy with excitement before a big event. Even though I’m an introvert at heart, I enjoy pushing myself out of my elastic waist pants comfort zone at least once or twice a year for a conference or retreat.
When I attend an event in person, either as a speaker or attendee, I always come away inspired and electrified. The feeling, a bubbly excitement, can’t be replicated by anything else. It takes meeting new people, learning in person and experiencing epiphanies with other creatives.
As I pick out my outfits, including giant polka dotted skirts and comfy sweaters, prepare my talk on creating your own success, and chat with the other women hosting the event about the food, surprises and details for The Movers and Makers Summit, I can’t help but count down the days.
There’s still time to join us but there aren’t many spots left so if you’re interested, I’m elated to share the official Movers and Makers Summit retreat schedule which has just been announced.
Whether you’re joining us for The Movers and Makers Summit or attending another event this year, I’m going to share the five biggest tips I’ve learned while attending my fair share of conferences.
In person events are amazing for finding like-minded entrepreneurs and establishing solid connections with them. This is where you can meet an accountability partner, a group who forms a mastermind, or even a business partner.
Or maybe you find that person who you mesh with so well that you become true friends who chat about business and life each week. You could meet your Mayi. You never really know.
When you invest in a retreat or conference, you want to make the most out of it.
1. Connect before you arrive.
Don’t wait until the day of the event to start developing connections. Reach out to others attending on social media or via email. And, if you can tell that you like someone, ask if they want to have lunch with you one of the days, if they want to grab a cocktail in the evening or want to meet for coffee before it begins.
If you’re introverted, this can help to reduce some anxiety before arriving at a conference or retreat.
For The Movers and Makers Summit, Lisa created a Facebook group so that the hosts and attendees can start to learn about each other’s businesses and chat well before the start of the event. It’s been really fun getting to know the women joining us in Charleston.
2. Quality over quantity!
Don’t worry about meeting everyone in the room at a conference of 100 women. Don’t freak out about the amount of business cards you trade. And, don’t push your products on people.
Instead, get to know the people you really click with so that you leave with quality connections.
When you just trade business card after business card, you often don’t follow up with those people. You probably won’t even remember what you talked about for the two minutes you chatted three weeks later.
When I attended Marie Forleo’s conference, I spent a lot of time with Mayi. We ate lunch together each day, we talked during some of the breaks and our relationship grew so much because of it. I met some other women who I still keep in touch with but that was because I wasn’t trying to meet every single woman in that room.
3. Make the most out of your time.
If there’s an option to come thirty minutes early to mingle and drink tea or coffee, do it. If there is a meet and greet the evening before, attend it. During the breaks, take care of business and then connect with attendees and speakers.
Take notes and stay 100% present during the presentations. Put your cell phone on silent (cause that’s good manners) and stay off of it (so you don’t get distracted).
Move during the breaks so that you can focus during the talks. Ask another attendee to walk around the block with you. Stand up and stretch a bit. Go into the bathroom and have a one-minute dance party. Do what you need to do to stay comfortable and attentive.
4. Follow up within a week.
You know those really great, meaningful relationships that you worked so hard to build during the conference or retreat? Don’t drop them. Use the person’s business card to find her website and follow her on social media.
Send her an email saying how you enjoyed meeting her. Follow up with something she said or brought up while you were chatting. Maybe she mentioned a fun restaurant that you tried out before you left? Thank her for the suggestion. Maybe she talked about how she was struggling with social media? Send her a link to a blog post that you found helpful for dealing with social media overwhelm.
Show her that you were listening and your relationship will grow. Then, suggest that you catch up on Skype next week. You can both share things you did after returning from the conference and give each other feedback.
5. Act right away.
One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs making after they attend a retreat, conference or course in person is that they wait and wait and wait to start acting on what they learned. They make excuses for why they’re not ready or why they can’t possibly start for at least two months.
When you get home from an in-person event you should be inspired and energized. Use that inspiration to make big changes to your business in a short amount of time. Then, you’ll have developed some amazing relationships and possibly paid for your trip through the growth in your business.
I hope this helps you have more success when you attend an event. Have a tip that I didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments below.