“You’re one event away from changing your future.” - Adapted from Chas Wilson’s quote… “You’re one relationship away from changing your future.”
By Chris Angell
Conferences can be one of the most lucrative events in your entire year and with Connect 2018 fast approaching you’ll want to be prepared to seize the moment.
Here are 9 ways to make sure you get the most from Connect and any other event you attend this year…
1. Write out or revisit your goals for the year. Journaling your goals can help you focus in on the right breakout sessions and activate your radar for the right contacts and opportunities while at Connect.
2. Think about what you want the event to do for you. Are you wanting to make some sales? Are are you trying to find some referrals sources? Maybe you’re about to expand your content marketing with an awesome podcast or interview show and need some guests you can interview. The question to ask is “How can this event help me get closer to my goals this year?”
3. Write out 3 goals for the event. Once you get clear about How you want the event to help you, try to make it tangible by writing 3 goals for the event. For example, here’s one of mine: “I want to find 30 people who are hungry to 10x their sales in a fun, consistent and genuine way with my done-AS-you marketing service.”
During the Event
4. Pick Breakout sessions that support your goals. One of my favorite parts of an event is breakout sessions. Finding topics specific to your goals can accelerate your entire year. For example, if you’re looking for a way to expand your influence quickly and efficiently to make more sales, a breakout session on content marketing would be a strategic session for you to attend. (Side note: If that’s you, I’m leading a breakout session on content marketing called “Content That Connects”. You’re invited)
5. Note the most important insights and ideas as you go. When I was young, I just took notes throughout an event. After the event was over I had a ton of notes that were hard to decipher. Over the years I discovered if I put a little star next to the ideas that I really wanted to implement, it was easier after the event to collect my action items and prepare a plan. Find the trick that works for you but definitely create an easy way to spot your breakout ideas as you write them down.
6. Connect with others you don’t know and create opportunities using BOND. Again, when I was young my favorite part of conferences were the speakers and the information. But as I got older, I found the networking was much more profitable. Look for those who are big thinkers and for those who are playing a big game. Build on common interests with them. Explore their occupation and dive into their needs by asking about their goals and challenges. Listen for where you could develop opportunities. And make notes in your journal or phone so you remember how best to follow up.
7. Write your Aha’s on your way home before you go back to work. This is where I consolidate my best ideas from the event. List them out on their own sheet of paper. Extra credit if you share them with your Master Networks Chapter – you’ll be seen as a leader for the value you add.
8. Structure all your Aha’s into a simplified 135 (or find where your Aha’s fit in your current 135). With your ideas consolidated, give them structure and make them actionable by putting them into your plan. Remember a 135 stands for 1 Objective or Primary Goal, 3 Strategies to get to that goal and 5 Tactics inside of each Strategy. Over time I’ve actually turned my 1-3-5’s into a 1-3-Many where I list all relevant ideas under one of my three strategies to get to my goal. This way they live there for me to revisit at a later date if they’re not applicable right now.
9. Follow up with opportunities you created at Connect. Finally, the fortune is in the follow up. You’ll want to send specific, custom messages to those you met at Connect. But I also think you’ll want an efficient, value added way to follow up as well. My breakout session on Content That Connects is a powerful and efficient way to follow up that compliments your one-on-one custom follow ups.
Events one of the best investments in your business if you focus your energies before, during and after. I wish you the best at Connect this year. Come say “Hi” at my breakout session or find me at my sponsor booth outside the keynote sessions. You’re one event away from changing your future.
*Chris Angell is co-host of the new Master Networks podcast called “Connect, Share, Prosper” available on Apple Podcasts, or Google Play. He is leading a breakout session at Connect called “Content That Connects” You can learn more about his boutique marketing agency that makes marketing fun, easy and genuine ←– here.