- Pack extra business cards! Heck, just bring the whole box. If you don't have enough business cards and are in a time crunch, use a service like Office Max or Overnightprints.com to get your cards before the conference. It's ideal to plan ahead
- Make sure you have all your marketing collateral items are packed in one, easy accessible placed and organized in such a way that you can easily grab the materials for whichever audience you may be targeting.
- Set your outlook away message letting everyone know where you are with a link to the conference you are attending and your Twitter handle / LinkedIn for everyone to follow you at (if applicable).
- A good example of this message would be: "I will be away Monday through Thursday attending the Multifamily Executive Conference (link this to the conference's website). Follow me @BlockRes to see my updates while I'm at the conference.
- Block time and set Outlook reminders for immediately after your return to remind you to follow up with prospects
- While on the plane (if you are flying), access your Outlook inbox while offline and make drafts of all your responses to emails in your inbox. Push these out once you are connected to internet. This will make it so that once you are at the conference, you will not have to focus on your inbox (as much).
- Make sure you have the list of speakers / attendees for the conference, as well as the list of sponsors for the conference (and their level of sponsorship if you can acquire that) and that you are fairly well versed on the notable speakers and attendees.
- From your list of attendees / speakers, take time to highlight the ones you identify as a potential prospect / partnership and make note of how you think you could benefit from their relationship.
- Print articles or buy magazines that relate to the conference topics you are attending. Bring these with you for reference. Take note of important statistics / facts on a phone or notepad so that you can use them in conversation at the conference.
- It is also a good idea to look up individual speakers and research the topics they are speaking on more in depth so you can ask quality questions or discuss the topic with them.
- In a conference setting, you will often have less than 2 minutes to grab someone's attention. Developing a clear and concise elevator speech is essential to your conference success. Chris Brogan lends his advice on his blog: "If you’ve got a business offer to promote at an event, practice and practice and practice how you’re going to talk about it. Be crisp. Make it easy to say. Be very clear about the ask. If you’re looking for people to review your demo, then make that the ask. If you’re looking for work, be clear that you’re available for a few extra projects. It seems that lots of folks beat around the bush or don’t exactly know how to have a beginning, middle, and end to a conversation"
Associate Director of Property Management
Block Real Estate Services