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Squeezing the Most Out of Every Conference

Affiliate-Summit-East In the last post How to Attend Conferences Free I mentioned a few ways of attending conferences without having to fork out the big bucks.  One of the ways mentioned was to win passes from popular blogs.  To show I’m not just pulling your leg, here is a recent example from very well known blogger, John Chow of how I won a pass to Affiliate Summit East 2010.  John is a blogger with over 100 thousand readers and Affiliate Summit Organizers are smart enough to realize that if John promotes their Summit more people will attend.  Works out great for everyone!

When we aren’t lucky enough to attend conferences free though we have to see if the cost of admission into the event fits in the budget.  This post is for the times we decide a conference is worth the expense and how to really get the most value from it.

If you hope to have any success at the conference you are attending, setting specific goals at least a couple weeks before is crucial.  Goals can vary from talking to as many people as possible to grow your brand before a product launch or it can be scoping out two or three people throughout the event to form a strategic partnership or close a big sale.  Whatever your goals are make sure to take a look at the agenda to plan according.  You will also want to take a look at the list of participants and sponsors to make it a point to meet the people you are looking to meet. 

Its funny to see the rookies at conferences.  You can always tell who they are because they carry around the bag conference organizers give them at the door and they stop by every table to get the free pens and candy.  Definitely the last thing you want to be doing at a costly event (plus the time taken out of your busy schedule) is waste your time lugging around a big bag of useless crap you will throw out no later than two days after the event.

One more thing, attend the after parties!  For most conferences, or at least the cool one’s there is always after parties sponsored by other conference attendees.  It bewilders me that so many people attending a conference do not see the value of attending the after parties.  After parties are where you are given the opportunity to connect with people on a more personal level.  The entire reason we go to these expensive events is to be around people who share a common interest, and what better place than the after parties.  If you don’t go for this know that most of the parties after conferences have open bars, but as we already established earlier we don’t go to events for the free things they give out… as tempting as it may be.   

When deciding whether to attend a particular event, it’s hard to decide the value of a conference to you in dollars and cents.  Really, its either in the budget or its not, but if you are able to go remember to plan ahead so you can  sqeeeeze the most out of every event you attend… even the after parties.

2 thoughts on “Squeezing the Most Out of Every Conference”

  1. Nice tips – one thing I’d love to see at more after parties would be lower music and brighter lights. Tough to talk when you can’t see and hear the other person.

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