10 Tips To Get The Most From A Business Conference

Some people enjoy the change of pace and stepping away from their office; others feel like they are just a required inconvenience, but business conferences are important networking events to grow your business. Here are ten tips to get the most out of your next one:

1. Research the conference before you go. Find out the schedule as a whole, what big names are going to be there, what the best lectures or discussion groups will be, etc. so you can come in knowing what to expect.

2. Set an objective. Have a goal in mind about what you want to accomplish by attending the conference.

3. Decide who you most want to meet. When you’re there, choose five to ten companies or individuals who you feel will be most advantageous to interact with.

4. Research the contacts you make after the conference. Go through the business cards you got and look at their websites, email them, or otherwise reach out and get more familiar with their company.

5. Plan your schedule. There will be multiple events going on at once and you can go to them all, so plan out what you’re going to do so you don’t miss anything valuable to your company.

6. Talk to people! Don’t keep to yourself. Talk to as many people as you can, even if it’s just small talk or a passing conversation—find a method of determining who would be best to get to know better.

7. If you have a booth, make it interesting. If your company is set up as a vendor, make your area exciting to stand out from other companies. Offer a free gift or a fun game-like interaction to get people conversing with you.

8. Grab lunch with like-minded people. Ask those who you really felt had interesting things to say out for lunch or dinner so you can discuss business further in a relaxed setting.

9. Bring business cards and other small, printed materials.

10. Tweet…in the back. If you wish to make live Twitter updates, do so in the back or off to the side so you don’t disturb those who aren’t online. Use meeting hash tags and describe locations to get people who aren’t in attendance to look up more information and get them interested.