These are 20 lessons I’ve learned the hard way throughout the years that will help you feel good about attending a LIVE offline event.
I guess it can be said that an offline event is just what you make of it. Now look, I’ve been to A LOT of events, some were awesome and some really sucked. I’m sure someone other than me liked the ones that sucked and vice versa but nonetheless it comes down to our personal productivity. For me it’s about feeling that I was PRODUCTIVE at the event. I mean it costs money to go to an event, you’ve got the ticket cost, airfare, hotel, meals and other expenses to consider. Attending an event can cost you anywhere from a few hundred bucks to a few thousand depending on where it is. No sense in spending that money to go on a business trip and not get anything in return.
My favorite events are pure content events. It’s not that I dislike selling or anything… (tch.. imagine that!) …It’s just that I like the “no pressure” atmosphere. People are there to learn and network and chances are there won’t be much “FLUFF” – you know that’s the polite word for “Bull Shit” that a speaker spews disguised as content when he’s just leading up to a $1997 price tag. You can market to me all you want, as a matter of fact, I love marketing and I love buying – I just hate when it’s disingenuous… you know?
So like I was saying – after all of these events I’ve been to I can sincerely say to you that they are imperative for your business to grow. You should definitely get out to live events. Budget for it, be prepared, and MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME THERE. I’ve wasted many trips to offline events simply because I went with the wrong mindset, or I let myself be distracted when I got there and ended up partying at the hotel bar instead of learning and building the right relationships. I’ve assembled these 20 points for you to keep in mind when you’re preparing to go to an event – take them seriously and watch how well they work.
#1 Have a great attitude – always be smiling, be friendly to everyone, and be willing to talk to strangers. Strike up a conversation with anyone wearing an ID tag and ask them where they’re from get to know them -exchange business cards.
#2 Be on time – don’t oversleep! You are here to get your business to the next level and that’s not going to happen by sleeping in your hotel room. Set an alarm on your phone for each of the 3 days in ADVANCE. This way, in case you’re networking late one night in the lobby, you won’t forget to set it and miss the morning session.
#3 Work the territory correctly – talk to everyone. Canvass each area of the hotel and find groups of attendees that are mingling. Remember that there may be people out by the pool or in the restaurant. Stay in the hotel and look for people wearing name tags.
#4 Be prepared – bring everything you’ll need. The most important thing to remember is BUSINESS CARDS! You can get some made quickly at a local office supply store or you can even make them yourself on your printer. Have a pen and notepad at all times and keep your planner close so you can schedule joint ventures and promotions!
#5 Know why there and what you’re doing – go with a plan. Set a personal goal for the event. Perhaps you want to schedule 3 webinars or you want to make 5 new Jvs. Write it down and hold yourself to it each day!
#6 Work full 12-14 hours – don’t slack off. We all get sleepy after lunch and you may be tempted to go take a nap. Sleep when you get back home – you’re not coming here to relax you’re coming to network and grow your business. Socializing is WORK. When each day ends, the crowd moves to the lobby, to the restaurant, and to the pool. You should quickly freshen up and come back down to mingle and grow your business!
#7 Take control – introduce yourself to people, and MEET EVERYONE. Don’t wait for someone to come up to you, instead walk over to them SMILE and introduce yourself. Make friends, and invite a potential affiliate to dinner. This is how million-dollar deals are done.
#8 Fly in the day before & fly out the day after. When you arrive at the hotel be sure to get a good night’s rest so you can be up early and register on time. You’ll want to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first thing in the morning. The last night there is usually some nighttime activity so you don’t want to fly out immediately after the event.
#9 Allow yourself time to eat a light healthy breakfast BEFORE you get to the event room. Avoid eating a huge breakfast because it will make you sleepy and weigh you down. Along the same lines try not to stuff your face during lunch so you don’t end up snoring during an afternoon speaker. I’ve been there and done that – it wasn’t pretty.
Mints, gum… whatever. Other than the obvious reason of avoiding foul breath when you talk to a potential JV, offering someone a piece of candy is a great way to start a conversation.
#11 Wear your name tag. There will be top Internet Marketers all over the hotel. It’s great to be able to strike up a conversation with a potential JV while in the elevator, in the hotel lobby, or even at the bar!
#12 Be yourself and provide UNCONDITIONAL VALUE. People can sense when you’re being genuine. Just be you – be honest about your business and offer to help people where you can without over-committing.
#13 Be respectful – it’s a small industry and it’s easy to get a bad rep. If you don’t have something nice to say… then just smile and keep listening. You never know who’s standing beside you.
#14 Take lots of pictures with people you meet and post them to Facebook and G+ right away. Be sure to tag your new friends in the picture and leave a nice comment on their wall so they remember you.
#15 Practice your “elevator pitch” – you should have memorized a 30-second presentation about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Be ready to fire it off on command!
#16 Give them something – if you’ve got some product demos on Cd-rom or maybe a printed copy of your ebook you should bring some. After the first couple of days of networking, you’ll know who the key people will be for you. Go back to those people on day 3 and give them a demo.
#17 Pack for the weather – remember that you’ll be in Orlando Florida in mid-May where outside temperatures can reach over 100 degrees meanwhile inside you’re freezing your butt off from the air conditioning! In other words… pack some shorts as well as a light sweater.
#18 Look sharp – you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This doesn’t mean that you should wear a business suit. Dress casual but look clean, tidy and smell good.
#19 Keep questions concise – don’t be the “What If Guy” During the expert panels and break-out sessions you should interact often with the speakers. Try to ask short direct questions and write down the answers. Be considerate of the speaker’s time and save the longer or “hypothetical” questions for the hallway and lobby conversations.
#20 The event isn’t over till a few days AFTER you get back home. There could be someone from the event sitting next to you on the plane ride back. Talk to them – wear your name tag even at the airport! When you get back home you should dedicate the first couple of days to writing thank you messages and shooting friendly videos for all the new people you just met. Keep it casual don’t be creepy, just a little message to say – hey it was nice meeting you here’s my contact info bla bla bla. The key is to FOLLOW THROUGH on all your conversations from the event, make time for this.
Click on the image to download the free PDF that goes with this article. No strings attached. Not even an opt-in form. This PDF transcript is something you can read online or print and read at your own leisure. I hope that you find lots of value in it and start implementing these tactics to grow your online business.