I was on the Women in the Pet Industry Network Thursday Growth Call with Shawna Schuh the other day and the call was about ROI (return on investment) at the WIPN or, actually any conference one attends.
In a nutshell, Shawna recommended to those on the call, these items (I have added some of my own as they came to me while I was writing) so they can see a return on their conference investment:
- Check out the agenda
- See who is speaking
- Check out their website
- Determine if there is a person or two, or more that you simply have to meet
- Connect with the speakers on social media prior to the conference
- When you meet with a speaker or another conference attendee, steer the conversation to “what can I do for you?” rather than, “what can you do for me?”
- Before you attend this, or any, conference know what it is you want to get out of it; whether it’s to add people to your newsletter list, find affiliate partners, find someone to buy your goods or services or find someone to help you with a specific aspect of your business
- Print out the agenda
- Make notes of who you want to meet, when their session is and what conference events you will be attending
- Bring your business cards, but don’t walk around handing them out like they are candy. Hand out cards, and accept cards, with a strategy in mind. Simply seeing who wins the “I got the most cards contest” isn’t helping to grow your business
- Make your investment in the conference pay off. Attending any networking event or conference or joining a professional association is only as good as the effort you put into it. If you come to the conference and spend your time in the hotel bar or in your room, you will not receive any ROI. If you do that, then you certainly can’t say (with any truth in your voice) “I didn’t get anything out of that conference, I will not be going back there again!” Mix. Mingle. Shake hands. Talk to people you don’t know — who knows when you will be in the same room with this many business professionals again?!
What can you do to make certain the time you spend in a conference — and the money you’ve spent to get there — will help grow your business?