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How To Ensure You Make The Most Of Each Conference You Attend

Plone Conference 2009 Group PhotoHow To Ensure You Make The Most Of Each Conference You Attend

Whether you have been asked to attend a conference by your boss, or you are attending one, or more, off your own back, it is important to make sure your time is not wasted. The following tips will make sure you always make the most of the conferences you attend.

1. Make a plan before you go

One of the worst things you can do when attending a conference is to not have a plan. Conferences tend to be extremely hectic and busy and if you arrive having not looked at the conference layout, looked up the guest speakers or checked the delegate list, you will not go far.

You should make a plan about which speakers you want to see, which delegates you want to meet, which stands you want to visit and so on. If you have been given the delegate list, try and get in contact with the people you’d like to meet and make an appointment with them, perhaps arranging to meet them for a coffee during one of the breaks in the conference speeches.

2. Do your research on those attending

If you’ve been lucky enough to get a delegate list and know who you want to meet, as well as knowing who the guest speakers are going to be, make sure you do your research on them all. Look them up online, read their twitter posts, visit their blogs and so on.

It will be a lot easier for you to make contact with these people at the conference if you have a way in and can show you’re interested in them. They will feel flattered you have done your research on them and are much more likely to give you the time of day.

3. Make sure you interact with the people around you

There’s nothing worse at a conference than being sat next to someone who is totally ignoring you, even more so when they are quite obviously alone there too. It’s a good idea to make the most of the opportunity to meet new people, after all you never know who you might be talking to and if they might be able to offer you a viable business opportunity, or even a personal one.

Try to start conversations by arriving before speeches are due to start and asking people about why they are attending the conference. It’s always a good idea to ask them a lot of questions because, to be honest, people just love to talk about themselves. It will also help you break the ice and encourage other people, who are also there alone, to join in the conversation.

4. Don’t spend all your free time on your phone or other mobile device

As in point 3, it is terribly rude to sit next to someone throughout an entire guest speech, or to keep bumping into the same people throughout the conference and then ignore them during the breaks because you’re texting, calling or tweeting.

You should be using the free time between speeches and presentations to meet and greet others in order to advertise your business, discover new work opportunities or to generally just have a nice conversation with other people.

5. Always make sure you follow up with those you’ve met

This is incredibly important, firstly because it is just polite to do so and secondly because it is likely people at the conference have met so many people that they will forget who you are unless you remind them quickly. This is especially important if you feel they can help your business in any way. Just think how impressed your boss might be with you if you bring in some new business.

There are a number of ways in which you are able to follow up such conference leads, whether through writing them an actual letter, sending them an email or even getting in touch with them via the phone. Just make sure you follow up within 48 hours, that you have got their details correct and that you tell them just how much you enjoyed meeting them and how much you would like to follow up on the discussions you had at the conference whenever they have the time to do so.

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James writes for Cranfield Tech Park. When not blogging about Cranfield’s serviced offices in Milton Keynes, he can often be found discovering new ways to attend conferences.

 

 

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Tips for Remembering Peoples Names

We meet a lot of people over the course our lives. Depending on where we work and how we socialize, that number may be tenfold. Do you often find yourself in a room full of people that you have met before but you are struggling to remember their names? There are some tips you can use when meeting people that will help their names stick in your memory.

Be Interested

Pay attention when you are being introduced. Don’t be thinking of what you plan to say next or how you plan to make small talk once the introductions are made. Listen attentively and be interested in the name of the person you are meeting. Too many of us are wondering if we left something on at home or how we look or what someone across the room thinks of us. Be mindful of the introduction and give your attention to the person across from you.

Repeat

When you are first introduced to someone, repeat their name. Repeat it often. You are imprinting it on your brain. Ask them by name how they are doing. Ask them by name what they do for a living. Use their name in the sentence. This helps you to verify that the name you heard is their real name.

Picture It

Some names are easier to picture than others. Picture their full name and study their face while you are talking with them. Some people actually imagine the name of the person written across their face. That means they have learned the name and the face and are able to associate both correctly. Again, this works best when you are focused on the person across from you and not the one hundred things left on your to do list. Be in the moment and take the time to associate the name with the face.

Word Association

Another tip to help remember someone’s name is to associate a word or words with the person. If the person has characteristics that remind you of someone use those to help you remember the name. Associate the name of the person with what they do for a living if that helps you, or with where you met them. Anything that helps you associate the name with the person is what you are looking for– no matter how silly it may seem.

Record Name

If you meet this new person in a business setting and it is possible you are going to have future dealings with them, it is best to keep a file of new contacts. As soon as you can write down the names of the people you have met and even a note or two from the context in which you met the person. This will help you trigger your memory as well and will also provide you with valuable information should you need it in the future.

If all else fails, or if you met a lot of new people on any given day, you can ask someone what their name is. Don’t be afraid to ask. You can even explain that there were so many people at whatever event you were at and that you want to make sure you have remembered it correctly. It shows an interest and will also help start off a conversation.

Written with care by Terry Ford and proofed via Grammarly grammar checker. An online tool designed to help you deliver your best writing.

 

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