Hello, Friday. Time for a weekend challenge. And today, I’m going to be talking about visiting events. You know, webinars, well even webinars, seminars, conferences, that kind of thing.
By the way, I am going to start telling you about The Owners’ club, every now and again. So I might throw that in once in a while.
If you want to know more, you can go to the website, it’s the best part of the marketing for owners. You can go to, just simply www.theOwnersClub.co. There you go. Do that later. Because just want to tell you about this events stuff.
Now this comes about because last weekend, I was at an event in London. It’s called New Media Europe, and I tell you what, it was great.
I think it’s the 3rd time they’ve held it. But its Mike and Isabella Russel. I’ve been featured on Isabella’s podcast before, and to even it up, I’m going to have Mike on here soon because they are great.
It is an event for mostly podcasters but all the new media things and speakers in from America, people from all over Europe.
All sorts of countries came. Very very popular, excellent feedback. but I attend a lot of conferences.
And over the years I have, and I have seen other people do this and quite often they are overwhelming and there is a, as with anything, there’s a method, a way to get the best value from an event.
So I may be going to a local chain book commerce one, next. Is it next Wednesday? I think I am at one in Buckmore Park in Kent. The Carting Circuit, owned by Sir Jon Surtees.
But I am there for the Kent and Victor Chamber of the commerce. And I’ll be meeting people. So here is some advice, how to make the most of it.
Now as usual, I am hoping, as it’s a weekend challenge. You’ve got your pad and your pen. So get ready.
#1 Make a Plan
Now this may sound obvious, or it may sound silly, depends on your point of view. But when you visit one of these places, you may be paying to be there, but you’re certainly taking time out of your day.
Your valuable time. So don’t just wing it, make a plan. What are you going to see? Where are you going to be? Which talks, if they have got them, are you going to attend?
Some have multiple things going on at once and it’s difficult to decide at the time. Where are you going to eat? When are you going to eat?
There is not a lot of time. Lots of conferences do not include food. Most of the ones aren’t going too feed you all day. Other ones do. And they organize it all for you.
But knowing this in advance, because if you think, ‘oh where’s lunch?’ then you have no plan. And we were in the middle of London, on Oxford Street. We’d go out and find lunch but we had a plan. Don’t you worry.
#2 Plan to Meet Your Contacts
Now what I mean by that is, is people that you already know. Find out who’s going from your circles. You’ve got twitter, Facebook.
Quite often these events will have a Facebook group or LinkedIn group. So find out from them, from your LinkedIn, your email list, friends. Gosh, text, phone, that kind of stuff. People still use that.
So arrange to meet them, arrange to meet them at lunch. Arrange to meet them at breaks. Arrange to meet more than one person at a time.
You can have lunch, say hey, let’s get together. A bunch of us, 3, 4 a little networking thing. Quite often you can’t get many chances to meet people in, what I call real life. In my fire trade, used to go to fire exhibitions.
Fire trade exhibitions in the midlands at the NEC. And some of our suppliers are from Manchester, of from Scotland. We’d never get to see them. So I’d arrange to meet people like those.
There’s nothing that beats, meeting people in real life. I know. We don’t do it so often. Even now like this. If you are ever going somewhere and you want to meet me, I’d love to meet you.
I look like this in real life, for those of you watching the video.
#3 Find the Official Hashtag
Now social media. We all know about social media. It’s all good stuff. But usually events have an official hashtag.
Yes, I’ve been to a couple but they haven’t. Although the person, one of the people organizing it, wasn’t really up to date, and didn’t know the official hashtag.
But make sure you are using the official hashtag. Because then you will connect with other people who are there. Genuine people and you will be able to follow up later on. It’s a much easier way of doing this.
The other thing is, once you know this, you can write some generic tweets in advance. So twitter by the way is best thing to be using at these things.
Write some generic tweets in advance like, ‘Hey, it’s all started, all kicking off. Loving it.’ Something like that. And then add, then you are prepared, just saves you a bit of time. Add a photo at the time.
And add in a couple of other of comments, and you’ve pretty much got a bunch of preset tweets ready to go. Just saves you time. I’ve been known to do it on the fly.
#4 Plan to Make New Contacts
Yes. Events aren’t just for learning. They are for meeting people. There are speakers. There are top people. You will be amazed who visit, who visit these.
But there are people in your trade that you need to meet. You need to meet influences. If you meet influences and they call you by your first name, other people will take notice. They are going to think, ‘Oh.’ And then people will want to know who you are.
So check the speaker list. Check the exhibitor list. Message them in advance. Say you are attending. Say you like what they do and you love whatever, don’t just send some generic template thing.
And ask if you can meet up. Now this might be scary. But I can assure you. The speakers are humans. They are just like you. Quite often they are exactly like you. In fact if you want to speak up to one, all you got to do is ask. And tell them what you can offer.
Quite often people are desperate for speakers. They are the same. There would be nothing better than going to an event, afterwards, going up to the stage, with a crowd of people around, and you stroll in, say, ‘Hi, so and so. I am Jon Butt.’ And he says, ‘Oh, Hey Jon. Yeah, how are you doing?’
People will look around and go, ‘who’s he?’ how about offering to buy them lunch. How about offering to meet for breakfast. They are at this thing. Why not?
They are learning as well. So make the most of it. Make new contacts. It’s going to be miles better than just trying to email or phone them up.
#5 Make Brief Notes
Now first of all, take your own notebook. Do not expect to be given pads, pens, paper. Take your own notebook. You should have a notebook.
When you do, put a date on the top. So, when you refer back to it. The name of the event, and the date in your notebook. When you refer back a year later. And you think, ‘Oh where did I learn that?’ You could find it.
But when I say make brief notes, first of all, do make notes. But don’t write reams. Because when you get home, you’ll never be able to digest it all. This is not like doing university degree. You are not at school. You do not have to write a everything down.
Quite often the speakers will give the slides out. Don’t write it down. Listen to what they are saying. Absorb. Take it in. if something strikes you, write it down. Jot it down. If something’s important, if someone mentions a book to read.
Put a little note by it. Book and a title. If it’s extra special, put a little star by that. And think ‘oh I’ll come back to that later’. Just don’t write pages and pages because you’ll be overwhelmed, your notes. You’ll never get time.
Never get time to go through it. You aren’t going to go home and rewrite all your notes into a some pretty book. I mean if you do, good luck.
#6 Plan a Day Off Work to Follow Up
Now after the event, most of us go home. We go back to our real lives, we do the laundry, we got to go back to work like this was on a Sunday.
Back to work on a Monday. And it’s all forgotten. So plan a day off. Or half a day. You want to go through your notes. Digest the salient points.
Digest the people to contact. The action points. There is something, something. What did you learn? What are you going to do?
Follow up people. If you took cards, and you promised, you should have jotted notes on the card. Just after you met them as to why you’ve got their card.
Follow those people up. Don’t expect them to send it to you. Send them a very quick email, just say, ‘Hi, just a quick thing to say, loved meeting you. I’ll be back in touch soon. I know you’re busy.’ That’s a start. They reply and then you are off and running.
But do follow up. So many people don’t and then if you don’t, it’s a complete waste of time and money and effort. Please do this.
It’s going to make most of your meetings, the most of any event that you go to, no matter where it is, no matter what it is, no matter how short. I hope that helps. Otherwise enjoy the sunshine wherever you are. Have a fabulous weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.