How to get the most value out of conferences 

You’re attending a conference and wondering what adventures lie ahead for you? The truth is, conferences are really what you make of them. You will get the opportunity to participate in dozens of sessions that are being led by industry experts, talk to a large number of new people, and take home plenty of cool stuff. So besides just promoting your callback widget for WordPress, you should take this opportunity to gain so much more. If you are a veteran of conferences, you probably have strategies that have been tried and tested that allow you to get the most out of each conference. If that’s not the case, don’t worry; we’ve got your back and we’ll teach you how to get the most value out of conferences.

Simple tips to help you get the most value out of conferences

People sitting in a large room and listening to a lecture during a tech conference
Attending conferences gives you a great opportunity to connect with your peers from all over the country (sometimes even the world).

Whether you just started your business or you already have a considerable customer base, you can benefit a lot from conferences. But in order to get the most value out of conferences, you need to have a clear strategy as going unprepared will do much more harm than good! So here’s how to make the most of all the future conferences you’ll be attending.

You can get the most value out of conferences only if you’re prepared

Going to a conference without first taking the time to sit down, think things through, and make a game plan is the easiest way (other than actually throwing away the money) to waste several hundred dollars. So before you hop on that plane, train, or bus, make sure you finish the tasks listed below. Because once you get to the event, there won’t be a moment for you to sit down and catch your breath.

Take a look at the agenda

Establish a goal for what it is that you would like to learn at the conference, and then make use of the agenda to build a plan that is especially suited to achieving that goal. Also, check out the area and make sure you’re familiar with it. For instance, you might want to find out how to increase user engagement on website. Wasting your time trying to find the right meeting room when you get there is the last thing you want. By studying the agenda, you’ll ensure you’re present for conference-wide events.

When it comes to more intimate gatherings, it is important to think about both the speaker and the topic being discussed. Attending highly tactical sessions is typically beneficial, regardless of who is in charge of facilitating them. Sessions that aren’t immediately relevant to your field of work, on the other hand, can still be beneficial if they’re led by a prominent figure in the business that you hope to meet.

Bring everything you need

Conferences usually last several days and each day will require extensive scheduling. Make sure you’ve taken care of the following things before you board the plane so that you can enjoy your journey stress-free:

  • Make sure you have the chargers for both your phone and your laptop with you. You are going to spend a significant portion of the day using your electronic gadgets. Consider bringing a portable charger, too.
  • Bring enough business cards and ensure that you always have some on you. It’s impossible to predict how many new people you’ll get to know so it’s good to keep some extras in your luggage, too.
  • Bring anything you might need for your presentation. Who knows, in case casual meetings with prospects end up turning into real sales opportunities, you have a much higher chance of sales if you are able to conduct a walkthrough on the spot.
  • Oh, and don’t forget to set your “out of the office” reply. Even though you’ll surely check your emails while you’re there, you won’t be able to reply quickly. Because of this, it’s important that you let potential clients and existing clients know why they might not hear from you for a few days.

Check who will be going

You should place equal importance on the people you will attend the sessions with as you do on the sessions themselves. Attending a conference is the single best way to network with your peers, make contact with new prospects, and check in with existing clients and consumers. Plus, if you seize the opportunity, you’ll also be able to convert visitors to leads and potentially grow your customer base.

Marketing team having a meeting in a conference room
In order to get the most value out of conferences, you and your team should do a little research before attending.

You shouldn’t bank on just running across potential customers at the conference. Instead, you should get in touch with them in advance to let them know that you will be there. This way you can arrange a time on their calendars and have their full, undivided attention rather than trying to cram a conversation into a stop-and-chat.

It’s time to get the most value out of conferences

Now that you’re there you’re probably wondering what to do next. Be prepared for a flurry of activity during the next few days, but try not to let it overwhelm you. You already have a purpose and a strategy in mind, so the only other items you need to keep in mind are those that will help you make the most of the time you have available.

Sign up in a timely manner

You really do not want to be the one who is forced to wait in line at the registration counter while everyone else heads off to compete. Register as soon as possible to reduce the amount of time you spend waiting in line and increase the amount of time you spend learning and interacting with new people. That’s how you get the most value out of conferences.

Establish a relationship with your customers

Although you may have communicated with some of your customers via email over the past few months, there is no substitute for actually meeting with them in person. If things aren’t going as planned, this is a fantastic time to address any concerns you have before you get a call informing you your customer canceled your service. However, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to answer every problem now. Instead, talk through any high-level concerns that your customer may have, and then schedule a follow-up time for after the conference is over.

Not only will checking in strengthen your connection if everything is going according to plan, but it will also be enjoyable if things are going swimmingly. Spending time with a satisfied customer can be enjoyable; just be sure to keep an ear out for potential upsells.

Connect with potential customers

Now that you have scheduled meetings with potential customers, you should put that time to good use. Pay attention to their worries and troubles, and then show them how your product or service may assist in finding solutions to those problems.

Do not go into these meetings with the expectation of immediately concluding transactions. Your potential customers are also attending this conference with the goal of enhancing their knowledge and skills, just like you. Make use of these talks so that you can better prepare yourself for future conversations. Each interaction should end with a list of key takeaways, and you should let prospects know that you will be following up.

Take part in discussions

Person holding a phone with Instagram app opened on it
Don’t forget to share posts from conferences on your social media.

The majority of conferences will have their own unique hashtag. Ensure that you are correctly tagging your tweets and photos on Instagram while the event is going on. During the course of the conference, you may also check out the hashtag to find out what people are talking about. It’s a fantastic idea to start a discussion with someone you’re interested in meeting in person but haven’t had the chance to do so in real life just yet if you can do it online.

Start maximizing your experience at conferences

The most important thing to remember is that conferences are primarily about networking and self-promotion rather than a road trip. Therefore, to get the most value out of conferences, make sure to manage your timetable and focus on what really matters. For other networking and sales advice, keep reading the ConvertMore blog.

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