Tech events can be one of the most powerful learning venues for your career and your startup. There is, however, a caveat. You have to know how to get your money’s worth. This involves getting into the right mindset BEFORE the event.
1) Define What You Want
If you don’t have a focus, you won’t know what to look for and your money won’t be well spent. Have intent when you attend Techsylvania 2015. Are you looking for a completely new marketing strategy for your latest development? Is there a specific speaker whom you want to check out because of their expertise in coding? Define what you want to gain the most from attending and begin preparing.
2) Plan Ahead For Techsylvania 2015
Many conferences have early bird specials with discounts. With Techsylvania 2015 just around the corner, it may be too late to get any early bird specials, but there’s still tickets left. These even include special VIP tickets where you can lounge with the speakers and pick their brains in-between sessions.
For next year’s event, as well as other conferences, prepare ahead and join the event mailing list. Don’t forget to follow them on social networks to stay updated on discounts and specials. Also, remember to follow the conference hashtag on Twitter.
If you don’t have a good supply of business cards on hand for Techsylvania 2015, order them so you have them for the event. It’s also advantageous to prepare a follow-up strategy now so you can better organize the information you want to collect from people you meet.
If you have particular dietary needs, research nearby restaurants before leaving for the event so you know exactly where you’ll be able to go to accommodate your dietary needs. Consider phoning your hotel to see if they can help meet your needs. For many, changing their diet while traveling can be extremely disruptive to energy, sleep, focus and overall general health, so make sure to keep yourself healthy.
Photo Credits: Bill Lublin’s Flickr
3) Your Follow-Up Plan
When you have an Internet-based business, sometimes it’s difficult to meet like-minded individuals whom you have things in common with. Tech events are imperative for meeting future venture partners, skilled consulting experts, potential customers and knowledgeable competitors.
Brainstorm a foolproof system for collecting contact information of the aforementioned individuals and include a system of making small notes about each one to trigger your memory after the conference.
4) Social Media Plan
Social media can play a central role in further establishing relationships with these people. Decide whether you’ll ask for their social media links or find them on your own. Plan on adding them either right there at the conference or when you return home, whichever system works best for you. Try to make at least 10 connections whom you exchange contact information with per conference day.
Take a look at the speakers and plan on introducing yourself to them. Ask them if you may add them to your social media links.
Also, if you want to stay connected throughout the conference, we recommend using Topi. It’s an extremely reliable networking system that will never let you down.
Quick tip: Take a picture of them at Techsylvania 2015. Upload it to your social media accounts, tag them in the pic and plan to say something about their expertise. This breaks the ice once you’re back home. It also opens up the door for future social media interactions so that when you contact them personally, by phone or email, they’re more likely to remember and respond to you.
5) Research the Climate
Techsylvania 2015 is in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, June 6-9. Make sure you’re familiar with the weather this time of the year for this. This also goes for any conference you plan to attend in the future. Extreme heat or cool conditions may require additional clothing and accessories such as closed toe shoes, rain gear, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen etc. Do your research so that you have proper casual business attire that accommodates the weather for the event.
Depending upon your lodging accommodations, as well as the size of the conference, you may find yourself doing an extended amount of walking. Research and prepare yourself accordingly. Don’t be afraid to pack walking shoes for traveling back and forth from your hotel room to the conference as well as for sightseeing. You can always pack a pair of more appropriate shoes and slip them on for the conference if needed.
When the conference room or convention center is large and has a lot of attendees, it’s sometimes difficult to balance the room temperature. This can result in an abnormally hot or cool room. Wear layered clothing if possible in order to adjust to uncomfortable temperatures so that your concentration isn’t challenged because you’re too hot or too cold.
6) Include Your Team
Even if your entire team can’t attend the conference, you can contribute to all of them by taking a little extra time to plan. Inform them about the conference. Ask them to look over the speakers and topics and to let you know if there’s anything particular they’d like you to get information about.
This is a powerful way to get more than your money’s worth at a conference because you’re educating the entire team at the cost of one ticket. In addition, by including them, your absence may not be resented because, after all, while you’re off networking at the conference, it’s your team that’s left behind to pick up the slack. It may even make it far less stressful when you return if your team has graciously held things down and kept up with your tasks as well. This way, you return with ample information that you all can improve with and you can slip right back into your routine.
Some ways to include your team are tagging them in social media posts you make during the conference, taking detailed notes and pictures of something they indicated interest in and using slide presentations, PowerPoint, Storyboard etc. to organize and present the materials to them after the conference.
Tech conferences, especially Techsylvania 2015, are an astounding opportunity to grasp new skills, learn about the most up-to-date industry trends and broaden your personal network to increase visibility for your business. It’s all about having the right mindset and doing some extra planning BEFORE the conference. In doing so, you can reap rewards that far surpass the original cost.
There’s still time to register! You can even register as a VIP! It’s not too late if you hurry…