How to Get the Most from Live Conferences

We just made the official announcement of Marketing Mayhem Live, this is the first live event presented by JVZoo.  It’s already getting a tn of buzz and will undoubtedly be the event of the year.

Live conferences, such as Marketing Mayhem, are a way for you to explode your business, no matter what niche you are in.  They are packed with action takers who are eager to find joint venture partners.  However, you have to be a go-getter to take full advantage of the conference scene.  Here are some tips for making the most of a live event.

The Meet and Greet - The most important thing you can do at a live event is meet as many people as you can.  Introduce yourself to everybody.  Before the event, practice your greeting.  That may sound silly, but if you don’t tell people what you do, they may not ask and then you will never know if there is synergy.  When introducing yourself, tell them your name and what you do.  Make it short and to the point, i.e. “Hi, I’m Joe.  I create training material for offline marketers.”

Don’t Park Yourself - The speakers and presentations are usually packed with good information, but don’t be glued to your seat all day.  While the presentations are going on inside the hall, there is a lot of networking going on just outside the doors.  This is actually one of the easiest times to get acquainted with some of the folks you admire or look up to.  While most people are inside watching the sessions, you should spend some of that time lurking the hallways for connections.

Use Your Manners - When speaking to people, listen to what they have to say.  A lot of people are so into themselves they are constantly thinking about what they are going to say next, instead of actually listening to what the person they are talking to has to say.  People notice this and are quickly turned off by it.  You’ll have your chance to speak, but until then, listen.

Work Your Way In - When you see a bunch of people gathered around, chances are somebody is puking brilliance.  For example, whenever Jason Fladlien goes outside to burn one, he usually has a dozen people surrounding him.  Jason is always giving good advice and starting enlightening debates.  Ease your way into those types of conversations.  You may learn more in ten minutes than you would all day in the training sessions.

Be Where the Crowd Is - Whether you are a drinker or not, if the crowd is at the hotel bar, be at the hotel bar.  If you have an opportunity to tag along to a club or restaurant with some high profile people, take that opportunity.  The absolute worst place in the hotel you can be at is in your room.  You will not gain any value from renting an over priced movie and ordering room service.  Remember, you are there to build relationships, so build them.

Don’t Be Pushy - You have a new product that will make me a ton of money if I promote it, right?  Um, so does just about everybody there!  If you go around asking everyone you meet to promote your new “game changer”, you will be quickly outcast.  Don’t do it.  Use your time to meet new people, find out what they do, and how you can build a relationship with that person.  The last thing you want to do is come accross as a door to door salesman.  Nobody will want to hang out with you and nobody will want to work with you.  If you are asked about your product, then it’s go time, but don’t push it on people.

Collect Contact Info - Whenever you meet interesting people, don’t let them slip through your fingers.  Ask them if they have a business card (yes, people still do carry them).  Get a phone number, Skype, or email address.

Don’t Drink Too Much - Nobody like the party asshole, so don’t be him.

Stand Out - If you are the type that normally blends into a background, you will need to leave that routine at home.  Find a way to make yourself memorable.  Simple things can make a difference.  For example, a funny business card, or even a special name tag.  I remember when Brad Spencer first came onto the scene.  He wrote on his name tag, “Looking to meet cool people.”  This was a big ice breaker, as many people would walk up to him and say, “I’m cool!”  Be creative, but don’t go overboard, you want people laughing with you and not at you.

Hopefully these tips will help you make contacts at your next live event.  Please feel free to add to these by posting your two cents below.


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