I don’t particularly enjoy traveling. In the last 10 days I’ve been in 4 different cities, 7 different planes and 4 different hotels. I’ve lost my favorite pair of gym shorts, and torn up my old faithful black Vans.
You better believe I didn’t do all this for nothing.
In honesty though, it wasn’t a bad trip at all. I had some great experiences, made new friends and most importantly, I learned a lot.
This isn’t a travel blog, so I won’t bore you with my trips to FL beach, but let’s get to it.
This last week I went to the Content Marketing Conference in Las Vegas. I want to talk about how to optimize the conference experience.
Okay, I hope your next 30 minutes are free because there are a bajillion things you need to learn! Just joking, I’m going to focus on 3 helpful tips for anyone attending a conference in the future.
- Focus on the few, not the many
- Everyone knows conferences are good for learning, but better for connecting. Many people connect the wrong way though. It’s about quality over quantity people. Don’t try and talk to everyone, instead focus on a few solid connections. Here’s a good litmus test. If the people you spoke to at a conference saw you in a crowd a week later would they recognize you? Make sure you engage in meaningful conversation with some, not superficial jabber with all.
- Take notes
- This seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many people only listen. Don’t record what each presenter says verbatim, but jot down what speaks to you.
- Follow up
- Always follow up with your key contacts. How you do so will depend on your experience. For example if you’re newer into the industry you might follow up by writing a blog about your favorite speaker and tagging them on twitter. Or if you’re integrated in the business you might be set up lunch with someone to further build a relationship. Whatever your method, even if it’s strictly connecting on social media, make sure some-how, some-way, that you follow up.
I also got the opportunity to attend a presentation from my boss Dennis Yu at Baruch College in New York this last week. I even got to speak for 10 minutes. This was a great experience. I won’t engage you right now with tips on public speaking, but instead am going to focus on the underlying reasons you should be willing to do presentations like this.
It boils down to passion. Passion > Monetary behavior. Whatever you do, make sure you’re passionate about it. Share that passion with others. Don’t let your road to success be a secret. Being able to share the little I knew about personal branding with other marketing students was one of my favorite experiences of the whole trip. (The other favorite being the beach in Florida).
I’m headed back home tomorrow, but I won’t be going empty-handed. I might not love life of the road, but I’ve at least made the most of my trip. Safe travels my friends.