Attending conferences are a great way to gain new skills and learn about current trends in your industry, but one of the best reason reasons for attending conferences is the opportunities to work the room! How often do you get the chance to talk to a room filled with perspective clients, potential partners or strategic connections? Work it girl!
Before you attend a conference, be sure to establish your plan in advance to maximize your networking time. It’s a good idea to know who you would like to connect with or at least what types of contacts you are hoping to make at the conference. For example, if you own a web site community perhaps you want to speak with sponsors at the conference, or if you own a web site design company then perhaps you want to speak to participants who have just started a business and need a web site.
Then remember to follow up with each and every one of them (and if you say you are going to afterwards, do it — promptly). Do you have a book in your purse dedicated to maximizing contacts made? Writing key notes about who you met and why they are valuable to you. Afterwards put their information into a CRM system so you can remember who they are and why there are valuable and record what happened when you follow up. Nimble.com is amazing for helping you organize your connections.
Listen to the questions asked by participants during sessions (REMEMBER FACES SO YOU CAN SPOT THEM LATER) and be aware of the conversations going on at your table. Listening is your number one secret tool you need when you are at a conference. Be sure to come prepared with your elevator pitch refined. Who are you, why are you here and what do you offer? Be comfortable with what you do and why you do it. Here is some advice for you to consider:
Perfecting Your Standard 30-Second Elevator Pitch:
- Be yourself and believe in your business. If you don’t believe in yourself or your product/service, no one will.
- Ensure your elevator pitch is short and to the point – don’t ramble. Stop, take a moment and collect your thoughts if you need to.
- Identify your unique selling proposition
- Identify your ideal clients and know how you can assist with their pain points.
- After you have chatted, state what you want to happen next and how you want to follow up.
- Rehearse at home – write a script and practice, practice, practice.
- After you rehearse, try filming yourself. There is nothing like a camera to prove how good or bad your pitch/delivery is.
- Timing of your pitch should be no more than 1 minute.
- Start with your script in mind but keep to your authentic self and ensure you are taking the actual conversation and setting into consideration.
- In most circumstances, keep it casual and feel the body language of the other person.
- Don’t drink too much! There is nothing worse then slurring your words or over being overly friendly! ?Know your limits and don’t go over it. Remember fresh breath and smile (Go light on the perfume).
- Final and most important take away is: Be YOURSELF and SPEAK NATURALLY.
This October 6th and 7th, hundreds of women will come together in Vancouver to make a two-day investment in themselves and their businesses at the Third Annual Women in Biz Conference and Urban Retreat. Register now to hear an amazing line-up of speakers, including Danielle LaPorte and Jessica Holmes.