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At least once in your career you will probably be invited or expected to attend a business conference. The conference could be for further training or a networking event where you promote your company. Conferences are ideal for making connections, learning more about your industry and the ability to promote your business in front of decision makers. The benefits you can get from a well-run conference are enormous, so how do you capitalize on that. Here is how to get the most out of your next business conference.
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Networking doesn’t happen by accident you need to work for it. Register for your conference well in advance, it is a courtesy to the organizer and it gives you time to prepare. You have plenty of time to be notified if anything changes with the event and can adapt. When you register in advance you also get some pretty useful information like who will be speaking and who the other attendees are going to be. You also have the chance to book your hotel ahead of time and plan on who you are going to meet.
Craft Your Pitch
Business conferences are where you get the chance to use your elevator pitch. Your pitch needs to be clear, concise and less than a minute. Here is how you can craft the perfect elevator pitch.
Aside from your perfect pitch you want to bring along some marketing materials and business cards. You probably already have a list of people that you want to meet and if you aren’t a natural conversationalist you might want to draft some questions you will want to ask ahead of time. You want to create a good dialogue, it doesn’t have to be complicated ask simple questions like “what do you do”. Ask why they are there and who they would like to meet. It never hurts to be prepared. Being prepared demonstrates your professionalism and boosts your credibility.
Follow up with the people that you met at the conference let them know that you are serious about building a business relationship. Don’t make it all about you either introduce people to other contacts they want to meet that are already in your network. Value the connections that you have made and always try and help others it will only benefit you in the end.
Making the most of your conference can give you connections that can last for years.
Today you have access to hundreds of business meetups and conferences by doing a simple Google search. In the past you had to rely on your phone and old fashioned mail delivery to find out about an event but technology has made networking that much easier. You can sit in front of your computer and analyze the costs and the benefits of going to an event. If you are wondering why go to a business conference at all, there are a lot of benefits. Conference organizers work hard to put together events that can help you build new relationships and create new opportunities.
Depending on the nature of your business a smaller local conference may be ideal. However if you are looking to expand globally then there are huge business conference that are attended by huge number and bring participants from all over the world. The big international events are located in major cities in most of the industrialized nations and they are incredibly good at bringing together a vast number of attendees in your industry. These events can be invaluable for making contacts all over the globe.
Most of the business conferences that are held today also feature exhibitions. Attending an exhibition is a great way to test a product before buying it or to show off your own products to potential customers. This is an ideal marketing opportunity that works right alongside digital or direct marketing campaigns that you already have running. They are a great way to market test a product and connect with emerging markets.
Here are some other reasons to attend a conference/exhibition:
One of the biggest business conferences and exhibitions that is held every year is the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. It is a massive event where big players in the world of electronics launch new products and connect with their audiences. It’s also ideal for bringing products to the marketplace in fact here is where the iPhone was initially launched.
While your business may not be in the same league with Apple yet, it does go to show how valuable a business conference can be. Before you dismiss the latest invitation to go to a business conference as a waste of money, you might want to take a second look. It could offer you a world of opportunity.