Convincing your boss for time off or to perhaps absorb some of the costs of attending conferences can be challenging, so you want to make sure you strategize your attendance at Techsylvania. There’s several reasons to attend. The most important ones are networking, leads, learning and brand building. To do this effectively, you need a solid strategy in place.
Prepping For Your Attendance At Techsylvania
Before the conference begins, familiarize yourself with the agenda and speakers. Have a list of what speakers you want to hear as well as specific questions or things you want to learn from them. Keep the schedule handy so you know what sessions you’re going to next and where that particular speaker is located.
The learning curve for conferences depends on your strategy. Make sure you have an adequate note-taking procedure. If it’s on a device, make sure it’s charged and that you have an extra battery or method of charging. If you’re handwriting notes, have plenty of paper, writing utensils and highlighters. The better your notes are, the more you learn.
The ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’ List
There’s a few things that, if they are forgotten, can be disastrous. Use this list to make things a lot easier. This way, you can focus on learning, networking, finding leads and brand building.
- Gum or breath mints – This eliminates any worries over bad breath when talking to new people!
- Portable battery packs – Have them handy for each device that you bring so you can recharge on the fly.
- Cash – It’s just so much easier to have cash on hand for that extra cost you don’t anticipate, especially when you’re in a foreign city. This way, you’re not running around searching for an ATM when you should be in a conference session.
- Extension cord – This is a great idea that’s often overlooked. You may need to recharge one of your devices, but the outlet isn’t in a “user friendly” location. With an extension cord, you’ll be able to charge your device without compromising its safety. You’ll also be able to charge it while taking notes.
- If you suspect you’ll be walking extended distances between your hotel and the conference location or doing sightseeing, wear comfortable shoes and bring a spare pair that you can slip on for the conference sessions.
Birds of Twitter, Tweet Together
The real saying is “Birds of a feather, flock together”. In a nutshell, you want to socialize and attract like-minded people that are either going to help strengthen your business or who will purchase products and services from it. Your attendance at Techsylvania not only allows you to look for people that match this criteria, but you can use the conference to create a buzz on Twitter and attract like-minded followers.
- Follow #Techsylvania and tweet quotes, insights and information during the conference. Let your followers know about your attendance at Techsylvania and what you’re doing in real time. Use power (buzz) words to express how much fun you’re having while learning and growing your business.
- Gather Twitter handles of speakers and attendees and tweet back and forth between sessions.
- Pictures! Don’t forget to take pictures! Images get more views and more retweets.
All of this attracts buzz and builds your business. Simultaneously, you’re learning and having a great time!
Photo Credits: Greg Robleto’s Flickr
Moreover, if you want to stay connected throughout the entire event, then you should check out Topi, a very reliable event networking system. You will definitely not be disappointed.
Schmooze With Booze (Not really)
So perhaps more schmoozing than boozing, but you get the idea. This is the ultimate time to network, but the issue is that word…”work”. If you’re more introverted, networking is like pulling teeth. A simple way to trigger the mind to approach this differently is to remove the word “networking'” from your mind completely. Just talk to people. It’s as simple as approaching and saying, “Hi, my name is _____.”
The strategy is to ask a few questions so that the other person begins talking about him/herself. If you’re an extrovert, you’re probably used to dominating conversations. It’s just natural for you, but in this case, you’re far better off listening first. When you allow the other person to speak, you can quickly determine if this person is an asset to your business in some way, a potential customer or a valued contact. Time is of the essence because you want to meet as many people as possible, so make your determinations quickly, get their contact details and politely move on to the next.
For introverts, use your natural, quiet characteristics as an advantage with your attendance at Techsylvania. Since you’re more likely to stand back and allow others to do the talking, you probably can make more contacts than extroverts because you just naturally listen. It’s all a matter of how you view this process. For introverts, it’s not “networking”. It’s schmoozing.
As for the booze…well, it can dissipate anxiety, as long as you don’t overdo it. The important thing is that you obtain as many solid leads as possible. Aim for a balance of leads that can be an asset to your business, people that are potential clients and those that are interesting, experienced contacts whom you had a strong connection with.
Making the most of your attendance at Techsylvania is all about the strategy you implement. Use these suggestions to learn, grow and establish valuable contacts for your startup at Techsylvania 2015. Tickets are still available and going fast, so register now.