How do you get the most out of Conferences?
I meet hundreds of attendees, exhibitors, speakers and sponsors every year that attend conferences all over the world. And their feedback on these shows varies WIDELY. This is because some attendees invest money into attending conferences throughout the year, while others invest so much more. They invest themselves!
So, as an attendee, how can you get the most out of not only Retail Global, but other shows as well? Here are 5 sure-fire ways to get the maximum amount of value you can from conferences and trade shows.
1. Know WHY you’re going
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of people that rock up to an event without having a clear goal in mind. Do you want to;
- Find someone to help you with SEO?
- Learn more about email marketing?
- Meet your future marketing manager?
- Get help with your Amazon listings?
Whatever the reason, make sure you think about it before-hand and I promise you will be a lot better off than if you rock up and just ‘see what happens’.
It’s not enough to know why you’re there. You also need to have an action strategy for when you get there. Most conferences these days have an app where you can not only see the program for the entire show, but you can also plan your agenda down to the session and lunch time meeting.
Make sure you do your research and see what exhibitors/solution providers are coming and pre-schedule meetings with the ones you think might be able to add value to your business.
3. Attend ALL of the networking events you can
It’s not enough to go to a conference and sit down in the sessions taking notes. The majority of people that work in the eCommerce industry spend a good portion of their time sitting at a desk checking their eBay or Amazon listings. Conferences are an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded people and make life-long connections. As the saying goes, ‘The best deals are made at the bar’.
So if the conference you’re attending is hosting a networking drinks, VIP lunch, or Gala Dinner, then make sure you get to those events. You’ll thank me later.
4. Get to know the staff
As an event manager of conferences for many years, I can say that I definitely have my favourite (and least favourite) attendees every single year. I can also tell you that I usually go out of my way to make sure their conference experience is the best they have ever had. Whether it be special access to certain areas, free drinks, inside information, or introductions to ‘hard-to-reach’ speakers. It is definitely in your interests to make friends with the crew running the show.
5. Have a post-conference strategy
The work doesn’t end when you get back to work on Monday. It’s actually quite the opposite. Jen Geale is the Co-founder of Mountain Bikes Direct, an 8 figure business based out of the Gold Coast, Australia. Jen first came to Retail Global when MBD was just an idea, and now she is a successful online retailer with a massive future.
If anyone knows how to implement information and connections from conferences, it’s Jen.
These are Jen’s tips on how to maximise your post-conference ROI:
- Make Space – Don’t just go back to work on Monday and jump straight into your emails. Extend your out-of-office for that extra day and go through your notes, business cards, and key takeaways and simply de-clutter your thoughts. This will help you implement these lessons later.
- Get Focused – Now is the time to step back from the notes and have a look at your business. Look at where the issues are, what needs improving, and what works well! This will give you a really good idea of which areas need your attention.
- EXECUTE! – Time to get in there and get your hands dirty. Take a deep breath and start to put into action all the great things you’ve learned from the show!
The tickets for RETAIL GLOBAL 2018 will go up on the 1st of July. Right now, you can get your Full Conference Pass for $995 (instead of $1595).
Commit to stepping out for a few days and do your business the biggest favour of your life!
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