Know why you’re attending the convention and each session. Some of common the possible goals are:
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You can’t attend all events and talk to everyone so prioritize based on your goals. Research the topic and the speakers, and ask your friends & colleagues what they are attending & why. This will help you decide in advance which events you will attend and who you should certainly meet.
3. Dont Ignore The Conversations!
It is widely believed that as much, if not more, value comes out of informal conversations as from presentations. The conversations should start before the event. Use social media to communicate your expectations and learn what others are saying about the event. During the event, often people spend all of their time with people they already know, or the people they came to the conference with. Do not fall in this trap. Plan to talk to at least 5 new people every day. If the word networking makes you uncomfortable, forget about it. Just ask lots of questions. Park your inhibitions and reservations. Ask all you can from presenters, colleagues and the new people you meet. Tips: Simply introduce yourself and discuss:
- What’s exciting in their world right now
- Their reactions to a specific topic of a recent presentation
- Share your thoughts and feedback
4. Participate. Don’t Just Listen
Don’t just be audience during the conference. You have more to contribute than you think- at the very least your reactions and validations of others’ views. Follow happenings on social media (especially Twitter using the event’s hashtag) during the event and share your thoughts about the various events.
5. Commit to Create a Deliverable
You will be much more diligent about implementing the best practices if you commit to someone that you will create a deliverable based on your convention experience. It could be as simple as elaborating takeaways with your team-mates, or as comprehensive as publishing an action plan to implement the takeaways.
6. Don’t Forget to Follow Up!
Don’t let all the business cards you have collected gather dust. Process them by identifying the contacts you want to deepen. Often, the momentum generated from great conversations during the conference fizzles out because of lack of follow up. Be disciplined! Book some time in your calendar right now for after-event reach out.
Good luck! Hopefully you will get a little more out of the upcoming BA Convention.
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