How to Get More From Industry Events

BY Jessica Helinski
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Attending conferences and other events is valuable to sales reps, thanks to the plentiful opportunities for leads, networking, and new insights. But those opportunities don’t come cheap — or easy. Reps must put in some effort to reap the rewards (and provide ROI for their companies footing the bill). Business 2 Community blogger Taylor Gordon points out that all of this effort put into events is worth it, and “the experience can be life-​changing and well worth the money if you’re intentional with your time.”

He’s personally learned some important lessons for making the most of events, and he shares them with readers. A few of his tips are below:

Make a “no ifs, ands, or buts” list

This list will help you keep priorities straight in the middle of the chaos of a conference. Usually, these things are a blur, so make a list of people you want to meet, speakers you’d like to see, and other “bucket list” items. Not sure what to put on the list? Gordon has a few suggestions:

  • Meeting someone you’ve been dying to meet
  • Asking a burning question at one of the workshops
  • Masterminding with a group of peers about a problem you’re having
  • Creating a mastermind of people who can hold you accountable to goals after the event
  • Connecting with a vendor or sponsor whom you want to form a partnership with

And, Gordon notes that this list isn’t set in stone. As you meet new people or learn about new items on the agenda, edit your to-​dos as needed.

Be a night owl (at least once)

Valuable networking doesn’t stop once the sun goes down. “I’ve found some of the best conversations at conferences happen in the evening and after hours when you sacrifice some beauty rest,” he writes. “Less structured parts of the event are times when you can really get to know people.” Even if you are one who needs as much sleep as possible, try, for at least a while, to stay up and mingle.

Before attending the next conference or workshop, use Gordon’s tips to create a strategy for success. His tips can help you get more from these events than ever before.