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Heading out to a conference or seminar this year? Leverage these 8 tips to get results from upcoming industry and business events.

Before arriving

1Connect in advance of the event.

Are you excited to meet with one of the speakers? You’re not alone, so instead of bracing for the long lines that form after a well-attended session, be strategic.

Do this by sending a quick email a few weeks before the event that explains how excited you are to hear his or her talk. Then, arrive at the session 15 minutes early to improve your odds of catching the speaker before they begin the program.  

2Hone your introduction.

Be prepared by taking advice from best-selling author and professional speaker Dorie Clark, “Several years back, a group of Vermont legislators came up with an extremely effective technique for creating short, snappy messages: 27-9-3, otherwise known as 27 words, 9 seconds, and three points. If you can keep within those parameters (or even shorter), you’re ahead of the pack.”

3Secure reservations at the host hotel.

If possible, stay during the key days of the event. This can lead to fortuitous connections when you head to the hotel gym during conference downtime. Or it may present a place where you can enjoy the unexpected, yet valuable breakfast meeting, which is a great example that Financial Times columnist and author Mrs. Moneypenny has shared with her global audiences.   

During the event

4Sit in the front row.

Although this is a bold move, First Round Capital partner Chris Fralic offers two rationales for overcoming any shyness you may have. First, if you’re right up front, you won’t be distracted by your smartphone and laptop. Second, “sitting up there forces you to pay attention.

Pro tip: If you have a high profile blog or huge social media following – consider getting/applying for a press pass and the reserved seat that comes with it.

5  Embrace social...

Today social media delivers many ways for us to actively participate. Using the conference or event hashtag, you can see what others are saying and participate in the conversation with your own relevant thoughts. This also provides the audience with an excellent opportunity to start forming relationships that can be strengthened at social gatherings following the daytime program or in between sessions.

6Be an active participant and ask a question.

Your contributions can help the formal presenter if you do advanced homework. Since most sessions have a Q&A segment at the end, be ready to ask an intelligent/relevant question.

Pro tip: State your name in addition to your company before asking the question, as a way of an introduction and so attendees will know you are there.

After the event

7Get involved.

Were you impressed by this year’s effort? Then step forward and get involved with the next event by applying to be a speaker, panelist, or program lead as the calls for participation are released. Aside from the visibility another potential benefit may include a complimentary registration fee for the next event.

8Share your insight with clients and prospects.

International speaker, and author, Anthony Iannarino reminds us that we should be prepared to share what we learned with our clients and prospects. “If you go to the time and trouble of attending a conference, take the time to attend the sessions with the goal of capturing ideas you can share with your clients and prospects when you return to work. Start with the goal of sending a conference insights newsletter to your clients when you get back.”

In the end, successful people know that conferences and seminars are what you make of them. They can represent a unique opportunity to grow your sales, make critical connections, allow time for you to actually learn, and certainly give you a chance to share the story of your brand.

If you will keep your marketing pitch crisp, reference these tips (that apply) and be memorable, you can deliver real results.  

Now it’s your turn! In the comments section that follows, take a moment to share one of your favorite tips that has helped you be more successful at events.

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