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Attending a Conference? Answer These 4 Questions To Dramatically Increase Your ROI

Attending a Conference? Answer These 4 Questions To Dramatically Increase Your ROI

Conference season is already under way. Perhaps you are reading this from a lecture hall or hotel lobby and asking yourself how you can make the most out of the next few days. The answer is, you need a business development strategy. In his article in Forbes Magazine, conference networking guru Mike Ambassador Bruny notes “many rely on serendipity when it comes to making connections at conferences – and if you don’t know what you are looking for, serendipity can become a missed opportunity.” Don’t have a conference strategy? Just taking the time to answer the following four questions* will result in a mini-strategy that will increase your chances of seeing a return on your investment from conference attendance.

1. How Do You Want To Show Up? Take a few minutes to consider which of your intrinsic qualities, characteristics and traits would lead your ideal client to choose you. Then, make sure the way you dress, act, communicate and connect at a conference reflect those things. For example, if you pride yourself on being very responsive to clients, arrive early to events or meetings. If you have a superior attention to detail, let your attire reflect that as well. If your creative solutions set your work apart, gather some people from the conference to join you for a unique experience in the city you are in. The truth of the matter is that people notice these things.

2. What Role Will You Play? Decide what your primary purpose for attendance at this particular conference is and then ensure you play a role to support that purpose. For example, perhaps you are looking to expand your practice into a new area or new market. This may lead you to take a more passive role to gather information from people you meet. Alternatively, your Firm may have just changed names, partners or direction. In that case, your role will likely be much more about meeting as many people as possible and getting the message out.

3. What Are The 3 Messages You Want People to Hear About You/Your Firm? Although it might seem contrived, taking the time to identify and write down the three messages you want people at the conference to hear will not only focus you but also allow you to be more relaxed and authentic. As anyone who has prepared well for a speech will know, the more preparation you do in advance, the more natural and persuasive you can be.

4. What Concrete Outcomes Are You Looking For And By When? Conferences are expensive and time consuming. Of course they have the side benefit of being fun and a great opportunity to meet with old friends. At the end of the day, however, you have a job to do. Identifying 2-4 concrete and time bound goals for yourself is highly likely to lead to success. Studies have shown that when we set goals, we automatically act in a way that is in furtherance of those goals. Give it a try!

Of course, in order to see significant results, a complete conference strategy needs more lead-time and should be part of a larger annual business development strategy. And don’t forget, your strategy shouldn’t stop when you leave the conference. See our past blog posts on the importance of follow up and how to do it effectively.


Thought these great Tips on Working the Room from Kintish with some amusing visuals might help too!

Enjoy conference season everyone!  Hope to see you out there.

*The origins of these 4 questions come from Mary Murphy, Global Conversations, an inspiring coach and mentor. Try them out when preparing for any meeting, event or conversation – whether it be professional or personal. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

BLG-Szymczyk-2694-By-Valerie-Keeler-Valberg-Imaging-copyHow can SC&C help?

Do you want to increase your return on investment from conference attendance? Do your Associates or Junior Partners need training and coaching on business development? SC&C can help. Contact me at kathryn@sccignites.com or on +1 647 978 5502 to find out more.

As always, we would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below. Feel free to post this article on LinkedIn, forward it or tweet it using the icons below.

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