10 tips to get the most out of SMC 2013 (or any other conference)! (Part 1 of 2)

Whether you have signed up for Canada’s prestigious Social Media Camp in Victoria, BC  – or you have your own event or conference to attend, I’ve shared my top 10 tips that will help you get the absolute best bang for your buck!

Here are the first 5. The next 5 will be released this Sunday. (just in time for 3 exciting days at Social Media Camp).

1) What will success look like?

This is a powerful question we often ask over at Tekara that helps develop expectations and understanding of outcomes and end results. Signing up for an event or conference is an investment of time, energy, and money and so it is important to understand what success will look like before we get on location. The time it takes to go through the process of answering why you are going and what you want to get out of the experience will be valuable in informing your experience and the learning’s you choose to engage in.

2) Do your homework

Take a look at the conference schedule. Who’s speaking? Which topics peak your interest? Take a few minutes to dig deeper and do some research on the various speakers, their background, and experience. If in doing the homework the session still resonates, pencil it in!

Bonus marks = introduce yourself to the speaker via twitter, email or some other digital channel, create the connection, and ask them a question about the presentation.

3)  Follow the hashtag!

Most events these days have a twitter handle and hashtag, @SocMedCamp and #SMCamp in our case. I believe that following and engaging using the hashtag is one of the most valuable pre-conference investments. Get a sense for ‘who will be in the room’ when you get there.

Which attendees and presenters look interesting? Begin to identify what conversations and relationships you can have to ensure you answer question #1 (what does success look like?)!

4) Twitter = networking on steroids

Notice the language in the step above, follow and engage using the event hashtag.  Start engaging with the people you would like to learn more about in real life – it can be as simple as saying hi, looking forward to meeting IRL (in real life), or asking them a meaningful question. What this will mean is that instead of walking into a room where every conversation is a cold one, you will be recognized and welcomed by warm connections before you even have to say hello.

Any other self-identifying introverts breathing a deep breathe of relief? I know I sure am! (More on that in my presentation)

PS- you can also start these conversations through the event’s blog, Facebook page, or even email! Get talking!

5) Remember names… and use them!

In a world where showing that you really care is one of the highest currencies and catalysts to building meaningful relationships – this is something that will set you apart. When you meet someone, make a conscious effort to remember their name – whether it means writing it down afterwards or immediately using it in a sentence. When you see them later in the conference, you will stand out by addressing them by their first name – showing that you remembered, that you were really listening, and that you care!

Check out the next 5 tips that will help you get the absolute best bang for your buck!

Consider me your sounding board for any of the above points – I personally love making new connections and having meaningful conversations, you can always find me on twitter, @TyrellMara.

If your coming to Social Media Camp, I would love to meet you at my session or during one of the networking events!

Tyrell Mara

Tyrell prides himself in bringing a keen business sense to the digital and social fields. Tyrell is passionate about speaking on the topics of digital communications and leadership, delivering keynotes and presentations to businesses, associations, and interest groups across Western Canada.

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