As I recently ran an evening networking event in London I thought today’s post would be a great reminder of how to get the most out of any business event you attend.

So why should you make the effort to attend a business event?

There are 4 main reasons.

  1. You can learn new skills
  2. You can network with potential JV partners or colleagues
  3. You can  get inspired for re-energizing your business
  4. Or, if you are thinking about changing your corporate hat for an entrepreneurial one, an event is a great place to get ideas for starting off quickly and profitably.

Weekend events (such as my recent Professional Speaker’s Summit, my 3-day Presentation Profits Intensive or my upcoming Seminar Business School, are an investment in yourself and your business – one that you can easily offset with new contacts, strategies, and tools to boost your bottom line.

So next time you go to a business event, consider these top strategies to get the most from your experience well before you head out the door:

Research topics & speakers:

Always check out the website’s agenda or sales page for the event. If it’s a multi-speaker event, make a note of  who will be speaking and what the topics are.  Perhaps even go to their individual websites to find out more about them and how they can help your business. By doing your homework, you’ll be better informed, and be in the best position to get what you need from the training.

Know your business strengths and weaknesses:

As a speaker, you shine on stage and are an expert at selling your products or services. Or maybe you’re an ace networker and a dab hand at putting together a team . However, you also want to be aware of the areas where you need development, such as online marketing, the techie stuff, copywriting, etc. Before you attend any event, take a moment to consider what your current business strengths and weaknesses are.  This will then help you raise your awareness to what the event will present – either in terms of the content from stage or the people you meet!

Know your figures!

If you meet a potential joint venture partner, you may want to have a few relevant figures handy like your gross revenue or list size.  Be specific about your list – is it UK based, worldwide, what is the gender split, approx age etc.  Have your forecasts for next year handy as well.

Connect with your fellow attendees before and after

Seek out Facebook event pages or forums that have been created for your event. In our case, you can connect via either my Shift Speaker Training Facebook page or by Twitter. It’s a great way to virtually meet your fellow attendees before the event, so when you do meet in person, you’ll be best friends! Keep an eye out for any hashtags after the event Tweetups — impromptu gatherings of Twitter users — or better yet, organize one yourself.

Be alert for strategic alliances.

If you are just starting out in your business, you may want to form strategic alliances. For example, web designers and copywriters work hand-in-hand and refer each other clients. Consider what professions are your natural match, have them in mind, and you’ll be surprised how many of them you’ll meet at the event.

Plan your travel

If you are traveling from overseas, arrive at your event destination a day or two early to relax, get acclimated, get in the same time zone, and get accustomed to your surroundings. Stay at the hotel where the event is held to save time going from your room to the event, save money on car rental or cab fare, and increase your potential for connecting with other event attendees. (Your room is also a great place to get a little privacy and get a breather, so it’s nice when it’s close by.)

Dress for success.

For most events, business casual is the stated attire, but think about stepping it up a notch.  You’re representing you, your business, and your brand, and the better you look and feel, the more people will notice you and find you approachable.

Come prepared

You’re just about ready, but here are a few more must-haves: an empty water bottle for being “green” while you travel, a jacket, pashmina or coat in case the room gets cold, a few of your favorite health bars or snacks, and a method for jotting down lots of notes (I always suggest buying a special journal and pen for the occasion!) and your all-important follow-up list of action items when you get back home. Of course you’ll want to bring a stack of memorable business cards!

Be clever and memorable.

Do you have any event tips to add to this list? I’d love to hear more.

4 Responses to “How to Get the Most Out of a Business Event”

  1. Thank you for this advice. I am going to a workshop next week which will be the first time I will be wearing my holistic practitioner hat in public! (I’m transitioning out of a J.O.B into my business).
    Your guide has come at the right time!

  2. You’re the best of the best Joanna Martin. I LOVE YOU Joey. Thank you.

  3. Hi Jo,
    I love attending business events and learning new things that will add value to my business and connecting with wonderful women that can add value to my business and I to theirs. I always wear something with colour or a nice piece of chunky jewellery to stand out from the traditional black boring suit that most business people feel that they have to wear to these events. When I follow up on my conections 95% of the time they would say something like ” Yes, I remember you Sophie, you had the beautiful hot pink jacket on”. I hope this was a useful tip for others.

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