Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3 Secrets on Getting the Most Out of Attending Events

By Michele Pariza Wacek

You've got your suitcases packed, your airline booked, and you're on your way to a live event.

But you're a little nervous. You've already spent a bunch of money, you're about to spend a bunch on hotels and food, not to mention the time away from your business and life. Will this turn into a good investment (i.e., help you business grow) or will it end up being just a waste of time and money?

That's an excellent question and as someone who has attended more than her share of events with fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) results, let me share my three secrets to getting the most of your attending events:

1. Set your intentions on what you want to get out of the event. Are you looking for joint venture partners? New clients? New ideas or information you can implement in your business? Is there someone you really want to meet in person? All of the above? Something else entirely?

It doesn't matter how you define a succesful event, what's important is that you actually spell out what you want to have happen, and make it as clear as possible.

If you're not clear on what you want, then your results could be equally murky. You want to visualize exactly what would have to happen for this to be a successful event for you.

Let me take a moment and share a quick story about this. At an event I recently attended, I was walking through the dining room at dinnertime, and I saw a woman sitting by herself. I went up to her and asked if she wanted some company, which she did. It turned out she had set the intention of meeting ME at this event, and we've ended up doing a couple of joint ventures together. Isn't it amazing once you set the intention how the Universe actually delivers it?

2. Don't just hang around your "crowd." There's no question that one of the reasons I love going to events is I can reconnect with all my old friends and colleagues. However, as much as I treasure the face-to-face bonding, I also want to meet new friends and colleagues, too.

Make a point of having either lunch, dinner, drinks, etc. with a new group each day. That gives you the opportunity to meet new people without going too far out of your comfort zone. (Now, if the thought of that is making you break out into a cold sweat, take a deep breath. Bring a friend with you, just don't only talk to your friend. Or only do this once or twice in the few days you're there, and slowly work your way up. You'll probably discover the vast majority of the people at these events are just as eager and just as nervous as you are, and it all ends up working itself out).

3. Manage your energy. This is a big one I never see anyone talk about, but it's really important. Events are exhausting. Period. Between being "on" when you meet people to absorbing all the information that's flying at you, it can wear you out.

So it's important to know your limits and listen to your body. You don't have to be at every single networking opportunity. It's okay to skip a group lunch or dinner and get room service.

Everyone is going to have different limits, and whatever that is, it's perfect for you, and you should honor it. The last thing you want to do is wear yourself out so much that when the perfect client DOES show up on Day 3, you're not so drained you don't properly represent yourself (and end up losing the sale).

Michele PW (Michelle Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching!Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting thier businesses. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at www.MichelePW.com

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