10 tips to get the most out of SMC 2013 (or any other conference)! (Part 2 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 last 5. And just in time for 3 exciting days at Social Media Camp. The first 5 were released on Friday.

6) Qualify your audience and go deeper

As you begin to meet the numerous attendees at the conference, hone in on the conversations and connections that seem most relevant and energizing to you and your business. Focus on these people throughout the conference and look for opportunities to grab coffee or go for lunch to dive deeper into conversation and exploring real opportunities.

7) Capture the content that resonates to re-purpose in your own voice

After the conference is over, share a reflection post highlighting your key learning’s, takeaways, and relationships that came out of the event. In this post you can use notes, video, audio, pictures, and more importantly reference the personal conversations and experiences you had. You can then reach out to these new connections you made and let them know you appreciated their connection – and featured them in your recap post.

This is all about continuing the conversation and exploring potential opportunities.

8) Have fun! I mean it!

Again for me, this is a tough one because I get caught in the mindset that events are strictly professional development or educational. Sometimes the best experiences and ‘AHA’ moments will occur in the unscripted moments. Whether it’s skipping the next presentation to go for lunch with a group you had a great connection with, or taking advantage of a spontaneous moment that you know will be a lot of fun.

Enjoy the whole experience, ‘having fun’ will ensure more powerful learning’s and takeaways overall.

PS – I still recommend this even if it is my presentation that you are choosing to skip! ;)

9) Get a breath of fresh air

Conferences and events can be exhausting. Between networking, socializing, and the presentations themselves by afternoon it can feel as if our head is ready to explode – that or you need a major power nap.

Get out of the venue and go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air. Give yourself the time to reflect and let your subconscious process what is going on. Don’t think of this as time that your missing out on more networking – instead you can re-frame this experience as an opportunity for your subconscious to process what is really important from everything you have taken in so far.

10) Follow up and stay connected

This is where magic happens.

After the event, take some time to think about the people and conversations that really resonated with you and your business. Now take the time to follow up personally with these people. Share with them your experience, and share why you want to stay connected or continue the conversation.

As I always say, expect to get out of it what you put in. If you take one second to send them a generic LinkedIn request, expect that they will reciprocate that second by clicking delete to the email notification. If you send them a meaningful thank you email, or better yet a hand written letter, expect a deep and meaningful conversation and relationship to begin!

Ask yourself the question “how important is this connection or relationship?” – and then honor that response with your method of following up.

Bonus:

If you are attending #SMCamp in Victoria and are interested in learning more about social media and driving strategy through building authentic relationships and communities – I would love for you to join me from 2:45-3:45 on May 7th to take part in an interactive session of highlighting best practices, case studies, and powerful stories in this space!

Check out the first 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 

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!