JH Greene is eager to attend the Step Into Greatness Business Conference tomorrow in Warrington, PA after receiving an invitation from a distinguished speaker. The event aims to allow businesses to grow a bigger, bolder voice in the market through relationship building. Preparing for this event and others on our teams’ calendars, we’ve noticed a few things we do that aren’t exactly common practice, but have allowed us to make the most of these opportunities. The following are some of the small preparations our team takes to ensure that a conference is the best use of our resources—even if the crowd isn’t necessarily the best fit. Although the Step Into Greatness attendees are a great lineup, not all events offer your ideal partner—here’s how to make sure your time is spent wisely:
1. Many events provide an attendees list: don’t ignore it!
Especially if you’re working in a sales capacity, identify the attendees you’d like to have a conversation with and understand their core business. If there are parallels/partnership opportunities that excite you, share them and get the conversation started. If it seems reasonable, sometimes a pre-event introductory email can be a good idea to set up some time to chat by a predetermined meeting place. If there is a schedule of events for the day, to optimize time, it can be beneficial to squeeze in a 10-minute touch-base with a new connection and have this time slot planned before the day of the event.
2. Ask strategic questions in group discussions
Do not, by any means, steal the spotlight from a panel discussion. However, to briefly pose a question that explains what you do to the broader group and also introduce an interesting angle/question to a conversation does a number of positive things. First: all attendees of an event now know what it is that you do (without expensive sponsorship or signage). Second: you’ve done the conversation a solid by adding some complexity in a new industry’s application being considered. This will spark conversation once the conversation is over, and best off, you’ll be remembered. In addition, the panelists will have some additional speaking material.
3. Get social
Understand how you can expand your presence at the event in the digital realm. Is there a group page on Linkedin, or are there any hashtags combining the social efforts of attendees? Post pictures on social channels announcing your participation in an event. In the case of the Step Into Greatness conference, it’s a good quality to see a business pushing to discuss growth and client satisfaction goals. Attendance at this sort of affair is not something to be hid.
4. Fine-tune your 30 second commercial
When you work in your own niche each day, you lose sight that people may not understand the language you now find basic. Preparing a concise and basic branding statement that explains what you do clearly can be key in others understanding how to effectively refer business your way. When you provide business cards, ensure they uphold this same standard of simplicity. When someone asks “What do you do?,” make sure your explanation isn’t technical and confusing. Keep it simple and memorable, so that people are able to think back to your introduction and remember your expertise.
There are countless strategies that can be put into place to make the most of events, but for starters, these ideas should get the ball rolling. As JH Greene looks forward to the Step Into Greatness event tomorrow, we welcome any new connections reading this who’d like to meet to feel free to drop a line to email@example.com.