While attending a business conference you do not have the luxury of time. A trade show, convention, seminar or other gathering might be only one or two days in length. Some events are five days long, but most programs are much shorter. Being focused on maximizing the conference means realizing there is an urgency to fit in all that you should do while in attendance.
Because of the limited scope of time you must engage this sense of urgency from the moment you arrive. Being intentional in how you participate in the event will allow you impact your ROI. Taking a "wait and see" attitude will result in missing out on the highest level of learning and networking.
Make people a priority. Know in advance whom you want to meet and make and effort to cross paths with clients, peers, and vendors. Be interested in the people whom you meet, and ask a lot of questions so you can make informed decisions as to with whom you should spend your time while on property. Additionally, you cannot follow up with everyone you meet, so be diligent in determining which conversations warrant prompt follow up after your get home.
Get to events on time. Many conferences have a plethora of choices of concurrent sessions that can be spread out across the hotel or convention center. To ensure you arrive on time you need to hustle to get from one breakout session to another. Often those who have no urgency end up roaming around and running late, which might lead to skipping the next session altogether. When you fail to attend sessions you miss out on the chance to learn key information or meet key contacts. Keep your attention on your purpose for attending the event in the first place.
Get to the trade show floor early. Often people skip the first day of the trade show and assume there will be plenty of time to get there later in the conference. But things come up, you get tired, and often burned out. Roam the floor early and often, and do not discredit the importance of meeting the vendors and using the trade show as a way to meet other attendees. Remember, it is not only you who will be burned out by day two or three. Making the trade show a priority early in the show means you have the best chance of making the meaningful connections.
Keeping and attitude of "urgency" will ensure you accomplish all that is possible at a conference.
Have A Great Day.
Thom Singer is known as "The Conference Catalyst". He works with meeting planners and conference organizers to set the tone for a meeting. His presentations educate, inspire and motivate attendees to engage deeper in the event and make meaningful connections.http://www.conferencecatalyst.com