I have been to a million business conferences over the past few years. OK, it’s actually about a hundred or so, but sometimes it feels like a million. These things are time consuming and exhausting. And yet they can be incredibly helpful to drive more sales. Sales are all about relationships and you can establish or make better your relationships at a conference. So here are four ways to get the most out of a conference.
1. Think small. Just pick a handful of people that you want to spend time with and make it your business to spend some time with them. Quality time. Keep the list small so you can spend more time with them. You don’t have to be the King or Queen of the Conference.
2. Collect business cards. You will inevitably meet many other people at your conference so collect cards. Write notes on the back because you’ll never remember who they were.
3. Never, ever forget. When you get back to the office take that stack of business cards and make it a point to get them into your CRM or contact management system. And then pointedly ask yourself: “How will I be keeping in contact with this person forever?” A newsletter? A monthly check in? A yearly call? Schedule it so you don’t forget it. That person may bring you business 5 years from now.
4. Spread the love. Find out the conference Twitter hashtag and follow it. When people tweet stuff, retweet it. People LOVE when you retweet their stuff. They think you like them. And maybe you do! But they’ll remember it and return the favor. They may even refer you some work, too.