Conference Planning Booklet

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Conference Planning Booklet

  1. 1. Conference Success Secrets Planning Booklet This Conference Planning Booklet is a hands on companion to the Conference Success Secrets audio program. Find out more at www.ConferenceSuccessSecrets.com. Published by Center for Networking Excellence, LLC 666 Greenwich Street #428 New York, NY 10014 212-812-4408 (phone) info@NetworkingExcellence.com (email) www.NetworkingExcellence.com (website) To order copies of this booklet, visit www.ConferenceBooklets.com. Copyright © 2007 by Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of any part of this work by any means without permission of the author is unlawful. No resell rights were included with the purchase of this booklet. ISBN: 0-9724239-4-X Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  2. 2. Conference Success Secrets Planning Booklet TABLE OF CONTENTS Before the Conference My Objectives for this Conference 4 10 Quick Tips for Pre-Conference Preparation 6 My Planning Checklist & Timeline for This Conference 7 During the Conference My Overall Game Plan for This Conference 8 My Conference Schedule at a Glance 9 10 Quick Tips for Peak Conference Performance 10 My Treasures from This Conference 11 After the Conference 10 Quick Tips for Finishing Strong 12 My Follow Up Tracker for This Conference 13 Quick Reference My Evaluation of This Conference 14 My Page 15 Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  3. 3. Before the Conference MY OBJECTIVES FOR THIS CONFERENCE € 1) Learn something new € 2) Nourish a personal interest € 3) Explore a new industry € 4) Do informal market research € 5) Market yourself and your business € 6) Reach someone who’s hard to reach See Chapter 2 of the Conference Success Secrets program for details on these objectives and how to use them to reach your big picture goals. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  4. 4. Before the Conference € 7) See what the competition is doing € 8) Solidify existing relationships € 9) Rub elbows with movers and shakers € 10) Forge alliances and problem solve € 11) Other reasons See Chapter 2 of the Conference Success Secrets program for details on these objectives and how to use them to reach your big picture goals. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  5. 5. Before the Conference 10 QUICK TIPS FOR PRE-CONFERENCE PREPARATION 1. Get the conference into your calendar as soon as possible. Block off travel time the day before and after, if necessary. Let co-workers, clients, and caregivers know as soon as possible, so they can make plans and minimize schedule conflicts. 2. Take advantage of discounts and book early. Conferences often offer early-bird discounts on registration fees and hotel rooms, and you can also get lower airfares if you’re flying in. Why pay extra if you don’t have to? 3. Invite a friend. If you know others who could benefit from attending the conference, invite them along. But don’t spend all of your time together. You’re there to grow your network. 4. If you’re traveling from out of town, stay at the conference hotel. You’ll avoid traffic getting to the conference in the morning, and if you get weighed down with conference materials, you can quickly drop them off in your room to lighten the load. 5. Check the weather forecast. If a rain storm is on the way, not only will you want to be sure to have an umbrella, you’ll also need to factor in extra travel time for slower traffic. 6. Fill out your conference planner. The more prepared you are for the conference, the more confidence you’ll have in speaking to others about your goals and objectives. 7. Get things settled at work and at home. Since you made the financial and time commitment to be at the conference, you’ll want to be able to focus on it as much as possible. 8. Wear comfortable, but professional clothing. You’ll be on your feet and doing a lot of walking to breakout sessions, around the exhibit hall, etc. You’ll also be meeting a lot of people, so you want to make the best first impression. 9. Plan to arrive early for registration. You’ll have time to get the layout of the conference, start your mingling and participate in any bonus morning activities. 10. Get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast. It’s going to be a long day. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  6. 6. Before the Conference MY PLANNING CHECKLIST TIMELINE FOR THIS CONFERENCE As Early As Possible € Register for the conference € Make hotel reservations € Book flights and/or other transportation € Inform colleagues, caregivers and other important people € Create conference folder for itineraries, confirmations, directions, etc. € Other ___________________________________________________ € Other ___________________________________________________ At least One Week Before The Conference Date or Your Departure Date by____________________________ (write in date that is 7 days before) € Fill out your conference planner € Get address and directions and put in conference folder € Conference location € Hotel € Remind colleagues, caregivers and other important people € Other ___________________________________________________ € Other ___________________________________________________ Couple Days Before The Conference Date or Your Departure Date by____________________________ (write in date that is 2 days before) € Check weather forecast € Decide what to wear and/or pack € Collect conference tools in one place € Confirm coverage at the office and at home € Other ___________________________________________________ € Other ___________________________________________________ No later Than One Week After The Conference or Your Return Date by____________________________ (write in date that is 7 days after) € Complete follow up for contacts made at the conference € File expenses for reimbursement € Present conference recap to colleagues € Other ___________________________________________________ € Other ___________________________________________________ Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  7. 7. During the Conference MY OVERALL GAME PLAN FOR THIS CONFERENCE My overall goal for attending the conference is to The activities at the conference (keynotes, sessions, breaks, etc.) that support this goal are: The key people (sponsors, speakers, attendees, etc.) I’d like to meet are: The key questions I’d like to find the answers to are: The key points about myself I’d like to make in my networking conversations are: See Chapter 3 of the Conference Success Secrets program for details on connecting all the right dots to maximize your experience. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  8. 8. During the Conference MY CONFERENCE SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE Time Period Activity/Location ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ ___________ ______________________________ See Chapter 3 of the Conference Success Secrets program for details on connecting all the right dots to maximize your experience. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  9. 9. During the Conference 10 10 QUICK TIPS FOR PEAK CONFERENCE PERFORMANCE 1. Be open to the unexpected. As well-thought out as your plan may be, you may discover once you’ve arrived that some part of the program has changed. Your plan is a structure, not a straight jacket. Go with the flow. 2. Take the initiative to introduce yourself. Whether you’re standing in line, waiting for a session to start, or walking by an exhibitor’s booth, talk to strangers and meet as many people as possible. All it takes is a smile and an outstretched hand. 3. Wear your name tag clipped high on your right lapel. When you shake hands, people will see it more easily than if it’s hanging from a string over your belly button. 4. Look at name tags to remember names more easily. For most of us, it’s not enough to hear a name spoken. We need to see it in writing. Take time as you’re shaking hands to look at that person’s name tag. It’s okay to be obvious. 5. To start a conversation, ask a question. Get the other person talking. Connections happen through conversation. That’s how you learn about the other person’s goals, find out what you have in common and discover ways to help each other. 6. Exchange contact info before you leave a conversation. You’ll need a way to follow up after the conference, but most people don’t know how to give out business cards smoothly. Your asking makes it natural for them to give one to you, and it’s a natural place to give yours out as well. 7. Listen. Dale Carnegie once said that people won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Being interested in other people and listening to what they have to say will draw them closer to you. 8. Participate, don’t spectate. You can absorb the experience like a sponge, or you can interact fully and gain a richer experience. Take part in QA and exercises and mingle during networking breaks. 9. Eat at designated times. A growling stomach and low blood pressure can make it challenging to be at the top of your game. Trust me on this. 10. Be on your best behavior. Treat everyone with respect, from the speakers, to the volunteers, to your fellow attendees. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  10. 10. During the Conference 11 MY TREASURES FROM THIS CONFERENCE 1) Things to Follow Up on Today 2) Great Ideas I Heard 3) Quotes to Remember 4) Books, Websites to Look Into 5) Other Lessons Inspiration See Chapter 4 of the Conference Success Secrets program for how to work your plan and keep organized throughout your whirlwind day. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  11. 11. After the Conference 12 10 QUICK TIPS FOR FINISHING STRONG 1. Use downtime to download. Take a few minutes to finish up your Conference Planner Booklet. Jot down key notes, key takeaways and key to dos that you didn’t capture before. Get it all out of your mind before you forget. 2. Review your goodie bag. Look through everything you took back from the conference. There may be some hidden treasures and helpful information you didn’t see the first time around. 3. Get started. The longer you put off the follow up, the harder it will be to start. You’ll feel awkward sending out thank you notes or making follow up calls more than two weeks after the conference. 4. Follow up first. Taking the initiative to make the first move shows that you’re organized, you know what you want, and you’re interested in building a lasting relationship. 5. Don’t ask for too much. While I encourage people to know what they want and to ask for it, it’s important to ask appropriately. Don’t send an attorney you just met a list of legal questions or pump a business consultant for free business advice. 6. Don’t spam. Having someone’s business card in hand does not give you license to add that name to your newsletter lists. You may mention your newsletter and invite them to join, but don’t add them unless they opt in. 7. Report back as promised. Your boss will see that you took the conference seriously and weren’t just angling to be away from the office for a day or two. It will also strengthen your case for any conferences you’d like to attend in the future. 8. Unwind. Participating fully in a conference, from preparation to attendance to follow up, can take a lot of time and energy. Once you’ve completed all of your tasks, be sure to take some time for yourself to recharge. 9. Strive for continuous improvement. Think about and capture what worked in your planning, what didn’t, what you might do differently once you’re there, etc. You’ll increase your effectiveness at maximizing your conference experiences. 10. Stay connected. Keep budding relationships alive through email or phone on a regular basis. It may feel awkward to reach out without having an excuse, so find a way to add value of some kind by sharing information or offering a recommendation. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  12. 12. After the Conference 13 MY FOLLOW UP TRACKER FOR THIS CONFERENCE 1) Promises Made 2) Ideas for Others 3) Potential Connections to Make 4) Other Ways I Can Help See Chapter 5 of the Conference Success Secrets program for follow up strategies that work. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  13. 13. Quick Reference 1 MY EVALUATION OF THIS CONFERENCE 1) Would I attend this conference again? € Yes € No 2) Would I recommend it to a friend? € Yes € No 3) If so, who? 4) What worked well with my plan and strategy? 5) What should I change about my plan or strategy for the future? 6) Anything else I want to remember? Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  14. 14. Quick Reference 1 MY PAGE Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com
  15. 15. Conference Success Secrets Planning Booklet ABOUT CONFERENCE SUCCESS SECRETS More than 27 million people attend conferences, trade shows, and conventions each year, spending nearly $30 billion. Why are they so popular? Well, in a finite amount of time, you can accomplish so much that can help you move forward on your most important professional and personal goals. And let’s face it, if a goal is important enough, we can’t reach it on our own. We’ll need information and the help of other people to get there. – Excerpt from Conference Success Secrets A key reason to add conferences to your overall networking strategy is for the sheer concentration of people and new information you will have access to at one time that could help you reach your goals. The Conference Success Secrets program, a multi-media package of print, audio instruction and this interactive planning guide, was designed to help make your conference experience more valuable to YOU. Learn how to prepare for success and build your network intelligently and efficiently at conventions, trade shows, multi-day seminars and other big events. For step-by-step guidance in completing this Conference Planning Booklet, check out the Conference Success Secrets program at www.ConferenceSuccessSecrets.com. To order more Conference Planning Booklets, visit www.ConferenceBooklets.com. ABOUT LIZ LYNCH Liz Lynch is founder and executive director of the Center for Networking Excellence, which develops products and programs to help business professionals build profitable relationships. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and author of 102 Secrets to Smarter Networking and Networking to Win. In addition, Liz has contributed to a number of business books and publications, and her work has been translated into multiple languages. To find out more about Liz and the Center for Networking Excellence, and to receive free tips for networking smarter, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com. Copyright © 2007, Liz Lynch. All rights reserved. For more resources and tools for networking smarter, not harder, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com

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