In our last article, we discussed
how to get ready to attend a conference and what you should take into account to avoid wasting valuable time or wandering aimlessly between booths. In this one, we'll talk about how to make your work at a conference successful, how to be fully prepared for meetings with partners, and what to do in worst-case scenarios. Preparations
Double-check your meetings, get confirmations or cancellations, and create a final draft of your schedule. Before you head to the event, make sure you leave yourself enough time to check that you have everything—both your personal effects and company items. Make sure ll handouts (business cards, brochures) and gifts are ready to go. Background Info
You and your employees may have to turn into stalkers for a while. Besides just establishing personal contact via messaging apps and e-mail, you should do your best to gather information about the people you plan to meet with and their companies from their social media accounts. You may find interests and hobbies that will provide a unique way to start a conversation, be it soccer, music, or travel. It's also important to structure the questions and statements that you plan to use in conversation: write them down (on paper!) to help you remember the material. Meetings
Once you arrive at your meeting location and have found the person you're meeting with, suggest stepping out somewhere less noisy than the middle of the exhibition hall. If the organizers have provided meeting rooms, take advantage of this. Start your conversations with small talk—you did prepare, after all. This will help you figure out how the person you are talking to is feeling and get a sense of the overall tone of your conversation. If they are in a hurry or very tired, they may suggest getting straight down to business. Always have a presentation of your product or service ready. At the end of your conversation, use a few strong statements to sum everything up and help clarify anything that may have been unclear. If you feel like the conversation went well, suggest taking a picture together. This will help you end the meeting on a positive note. Afterparty
Matches are made in heaven, and deals are made at the afterparty. That pretty much sums up the situation with after-conference parties. Informal communication on any and all topics and the absence of time or dress code constraints will help advance your conversation even further than you think. Never write off parties as an afterthought—that's where the real networking happens.