Author: Wael Badawy
How to Get the Most out of Your Next Conference
Success in your career depends upon how well you manage your professional development. A prime source of this development comes from being a member of a professional association that relates to your career. As a member, you can attend conferences where you advance your skills and meet people who can help you.
Some people, however, treat conferences as a paid vacation. They party, they skip sessions, and they return home with little more than a stack of receipts. That costs them (or their business) money and contributes nothing to professional growth.
Hereís how to get the most out of your next conference.
1) Start With a Plan
First, make a list of your goals for attending the conference. For example, this could include the information that you want to gain, the relationships that you want to deepen, the people you want to meet, and the things that you want to buy. Also, make a list of questions that you want to have answered while youíre at the conference. This list will help you focus on your personal agenda during the conference and will maximize your chances of returning with something of value.
Then, scan through the program to select those sessions that will help you the most. These could be on topics that teach skills leading to a promotion, help open new opportunities at work, or answer important questions about your career. If many valuable sessions are scheduled at the same time, then select your first and second choices. You may find that one of the sessions has been canceled or filled (sold out).
Highlight your top priority sessions so you can sign up or arrive early. These sessions generally have such great value that they justify attending the conference, and you want to make sure that youíre there when they start.
If your boss must approve attending a conference, use your plan to justify your request. Be sure to include explanations of how the information, relationships, and participation at the conference will enhance your value to your company. Wise leaders always support someone who relates a request to the benefits that come from it.
2) Work the Plan
While at the conference keep your list of goals and questions in mind. Begin each day by checking your list and identifying those goals that you can achieve during that day. For example, some sessions may provide information that answers some of your questions.
At the end of the day review your list and check off those goals that you accomplished. If you discover new opportunities, then add them to your list of goals. And if you find yourself stuck on reaching a goal, seek out a senior member whom you can ask for advice on how to achieve it.
3) Meet People
Often the greatest benefit of attending a conference will be the relationships that you start while there. These relationships can become sources of information, friendship, and job opportunities.
Thus, make it a point to meet new people. Instead of spending all of your time with friends or colleagues, go off on your own. Join other people for meals. Sit next to them during the sessions. Start conversations while walking between sessions. And be sure to ask for a business card. Then you can add that personís contact information into your contact database.
I encourage you to introduce yourself to the speakers. They were invited to speak at the conference because of their expertise in your profession. Thus, they can become valuable resources for information, assistance, and referrals. The best time to meet speakers is right after they finish their presentation. Introduce yourself, offer a brief compliment on the presentation, and ask for a business card. Of course, if you meet them again at the conference, use this as an opportunity to talk further.
4) Apply What You Gained
When you return home, set aside an hour or so to review the notes that you took while at the conference. You may want to schedule this on your calendar before you leave for the conference.
Review your notes, identifying the main ideas. Then convert each of these ideas into an action on your list of things to do. Once you finish the list add a completion date and assign a priority. Recognize that this step converts everything that you learned, collected, and gained during the conference into tangible benefits for yourself and your company.
If you are an employee, I recommend writing a report for your management. Document the key ideas that you gained and describe how they can be applied to your work. If youíre an independent, you may still want to write such a report for yourself because this formalizes what you gained from the conference.
5) Be Grateful
When you return home, write thank you notes to the people who helped you at the conference. This simple courtesy sets you apart as an exceptional person. I especially recommend writing notes to:
1) The leaders in the association. They worked hard to organize the event.
2) Members of the staff who helped you. These people can help you get the most out of your membership.
3) The speakers. This could start relationships with experts and celebrities in your profession.
4) New friends. This makes you memorable when you meet again at the next conference.
Use a conference to immerse yourself in the society and the technology of your profession. And then apply what you gained to advance your career.
More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar
First Film, Games and Mobile Business Network starts in Germany
The International business network gafimo.net –
the mobile, film, games network launches today in
germany. Matthias Pieper, 23, CEO of gafimo.net
is on the move to find as many professionals from
the mobile content, film and games-development
branches as possible to bring them together. “It
is clear that these industries have to work
together in the future” Pieper says. He knows,
what he¥s talking about: after years of working
on the games workforce (giga, etc.) he has
studied film production and often finds himself
between the branches. “Those people are working
on the same topics, using similiar software,
storytellingtools, and so on” he says, “but
hardly know each other and therefore can¥t be of
help to one another”. Also Pieper believes that
since the devices of games, mobile and film are
merging (playstations, PCs, etc) there has to be
a business-network to combine these industries.
More info’s and free registrations (restricted to
pros) please join our live seminar
Do You Get Attention With Your 30-Second Introduction?
<b>I went to a networking event the other day</b> where the meeting leader said, “Weíre going to skip doing the 30-second introductions today because mineís so bad and it doesnít work that it nauseates me.” I thought to myself, WOW! Iíd skip the next networking meeting until Iíd worked out a new introduction.
<b>Do you get attention with your introduction?</b> Are you prepared to introduce yourself at your next networking event or for when someone ask, “What do you do?” Consider these tips for developing an attention getting introduction.
<b>1. Start With The First 10 Seconds.</b> What if 10 seconds is all you get? Does your first sentence tell your listener enough so they understand what you do and inspire them to want to know more? Hereís the simple, but effective approach. “I work with [type of clients] who have [these types of problems, issues or challenges].” Thatís it. Donít try to sugar it up or make it real catchy.
<b>2. Avoid the What You Are Approach.</b> “Iím an accountant” or “Iím a marketing consultant” or “Iím a financial planner” or “Iím a growth coach”. Youíve heard them time and again. Youíve probably even done it yourself. The problem is your listener(s) may not understand what the title means or even worse they may fill in an incorrect definition.
<b>3. Avoid the What You Do Approach.</b> “I do small business accounting including sales tax and payroll” or “I provide business owners with mentoring and training in comprehensive strategies to improve bottom line results…” Tends to be boring and doesnít help the listener(s) understand what they get as a result.
<b>4. Say How You Solved a Problem or Served a Client.</b> Reinforce your first 10 second sentence with a second sentence that shows how you solved a problem or overcame a particular issue or challenge. “I help mid-sized accounting firms plan big conferences on a small budget. I just recently lined up free live entertainment for a firm that hosted 500 people in town last week.”
<b>5. Tell Them Why You Are Unique.</b> What makes you stand out from the crowd? Maybe itís a unique model or approach for better results, focus on a specific niche, a guarantee, or extras that others donít provide. There are many ways to define your uniqueness that will help gain attention and make you memorable.
<b>Make your introduction an attention getter.</b> Start with the first 10 seconds. You can always build from there once it starts getting attention. Actually write it down and practice out loud several times until you can just say it naturally.
Finding Targeted Leads
The objective of multi-level marketing (MLM) is to sell the product or service and to encourage the client to become an independent distributor, who then sells the service or product as well. Leads are vital for any business to grow, and in order for the business owner to have the greatest success, the leads must be curious enough in the business opportunity to have expressed an interest. The prospects that have expressed an interest in becoming distributors are known as Targeted MLM Leads.
To find targeted MLM leads, business owners must first have ample knowledge of their target market. Are they self-starters? Do they have the commitment necessary to be part of a network? Business owners must also understand the product or service, the company mission statement, and its goals and objectives well enough to offer a good sales presentation. Delivering a presentation, however compelling, to someone that has not shown interest in the product, service, or business opportunity is a waste of time and resources.
Business owners can acquire targeted MLM leads from various sources. The most convenient sources are the companies that compile and sell lead lists. The business owner, however, should be careful when choosing a lead list source, as some may be fraudulent. Some targeted MLM leads are identified through telephone interviews or direct mail response. Business owners can also obtain targeted leads from promotional give-away programs that have high traffic. Usually a person will fill out a simple survey to claim the promotional item, and the business owner can then use the survey to assess whether he or she will be a quality lead.
For more information, please join our live seminar