Get the Most out of Industry Events: Part One

Attending industry events offers so many opportunities to expand your business – from developing new ideas, new tools and techniques, to getting you in touch with new partners for collaboration. But attending events is a significant investment in time and money, so to make sure you put your time to the best use, it pays off to prepare before attending.

To get you ready for the 2019 European Convention – or any event in the future – we’ve put together this guide to getting the most out of an industry event.

1) Get back to basics

Before attending any event, review your business plans and your general career goals. Consider any challenges that you have in meeting those goals, and identify areas for growth that the event could help with:

  • Sharpening your skills
  • Gaining knowledge and learning about new techniques
  • Finding new inspiration or motivation
  • Networking to exchange ideas or collaborate with colleagues

Pro tip: Set measureable objectives

Once you’ve identified how the event could help you meet your goals, set some measurable objectives for the event itself – whether that’s getting the contact details of 15 colleagues in your area, or finding six new techniques to handle a problem that you’ve experienced.

2) Start your research early

As soon as it is available, download the event app to start preparing for the event. Then review the agenda to pick out the activities that will be most useful to you, and plan around conflicting sessions. If others from your office are attending, agree to divide up the schedule and share notes so that you can cover even more topics.

But even more importantly, begin researching the speakers and the topics that will be covered. Take the time to visit the websites or social media accounts of the speakers that interest you, and read books they’ve written or watch videos of their talks to become familiar with their work.

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Pro tip: Prepare questions before

It’s easy to get star struck by well-known speakers, so brainstorm questions that you may want to ask so you don’t freeze up under pressure.

3) Build your network now

It’s always more comfortable to attend an event with friends, but if you stay with the same group of people, you’ll miss out on opportunities to build your network. So even if you know good friends or longtime coworkers will be attending as well, make a point to reach out to new colleagues and make new connections. And that can start before the event does.

Browse social media and forums relating to the event and start interacting with other attendees right away. Practice a short summary of yourself and your business to use when meeting new contacts. 

Pro tip: Start networking BEFORE the Event

You can even set up discussion groups with other attendees so that not only will you know other people at the event, but you can also brainstorm with them to help you develop your goals for the event and research your topic of focus.

Ready, set, go!

Now that you’ve got a plan to tackle your next event, pack your bags and get ready to make it work for you. Join us for the next installment of our series, and learn what you can do at the event itself to make sure it’s a success.

If you haven’t already, get your tickets for #reucon19 and put your plan into action:

Then join our Facebook event page and start planning your time to make this year’s European Convention the best ever!