Many businesses take the time and effort to attend conferences, because, let’s face it: they’re immensely useful. When you visit a conference, you have a chance to meet a lot of people in your industry, from big players to those who are just starting out, and you can network and learn a lot of new trends and advancements as well. You can even attract new clients and reconnect with old or current clients. Conferences can help you get your company and brand out there, so you can have the recognition you deserve. But joining a conference entails a bit of preparation, too. Here’s how you can adequately prepare yourself when going to a conference.
Do research on the presenters and the schedule
You may have already looked at the scheduling of the conference but take the time to learn about the various presentations and find out their schedule as well. Choose the presentations which you think may help you and find out more about the speakers. You could arrange to meet a few of the speakers who interest you, so you can talk to them and gain valuable insights into your industry.
Focus on a great presentation
If you are a presenter, then this is your chance to shine. You should adequately prepare for your presentation with good slides and an informative and interesting talk. The key with great slides is this: don’t put too much information in the slides; they may look too crowded. You can include valuable information in your brochures and handouts, anyway. And whilst we’re on the topic, make sure you have well-designed brochures and other printed materials, and make use of good quality folders such as a customised A4 conference folder where you can place detailed information about your business to distribute to participants. Make sure you have a lot of business cards – they are a necessary tool at any conference.
The key to a great and memorable presentation is to choose the right subject, know your topic inside out, and present it in such a way that your audience is both informed and entertained. Keep it simple, though – try not to confuse your audience with too much data. Connect with your audience by looking them in the eyes, and don’t forget to smile!
Take care of the logistics of the event
If the event is in another area or city, take care of your accommodation and travel requirements early on. It’s best to start planning this well, especially if you don’t want to end up with issues such as overbooking or a lack of hotel rooms. Familiarise yourself with the conference location as well so that you can figure out how to transfer from the hotel to the venue.
Utilise social media
Another way you can prepare for the conference is by joining the conversation on social media. Check out the official conference page and share posts from the conference organisers. You can also create posts related to the conference and use the official hashtag of the conference, so your clients and vendors know you are participating or giving a talk. You can even use social media to announce your participation and perhaps arrange a meet-up with people who are going to the conference as well.