In popular culture, conferences and conventions can be extremely fun. You get to see people in elaborate costumes, meet other members of your fandom, maybe even score some cool art or tchotchkes. In the professional world, though, conferences and conventions can feel like a drag. Everybody is dressed more or less the same and all of the panels and talks seem to be about either learning something you already know or being sold something you might or might not use. Plus, convention hall food leaves a lot to be desired.
Still, the business networking conference (or convention) is a necessary part of building your audience, marketing your products or services and cementing your place in your industry. And, if you know what you are doing, you can make the entire experience fun. Really!
Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Go With Friends
Everything is more fun when you do it with friends, right? Going to a convention or a conference makes the experience a lot more pleasant and enjoyable than it likely would have been if you had gone on your own. Having a friend alleviates a lot of the pressure that might have otherwise come from not knowing anybody, having trouble navigating the floor plan, feeling too shy to talk to anyone, etc.
It is especially helpful, if you are an introverted person, to attend a conference or convention with an extroverted person. The extrovert can strike up conversations and bring you into them in a comfortable way. They can also act as a buffer between you and someone or something you might want to avoid.
Yes, you are there to attend that specific conference, but there are rarely any rules in place that say you absolutely must stay on the premises at all times. In fact, one of the best ways to make new friends and bond with members of your audience is to grab a few people and collectively explore the city surrounding the convention for a while. If nothing else, taking a group field trip down the street to a restaurant or pub is a great way to escape the overpriced food that is on-site.
Set up a checklist of things that you want to see or do while you are at this event and then force yourself to check off every list item. Include things like “ask one question at every panel,” and “hand out business card to five new people every day.” These items should be about trying new things, meeting networking and marketing goals, etc. If you have a list of things you have to do, you won’t be worrying as much about your options. You’ll have an agenda.
Make it a Game
There are lots of ways to have fun and play games at conventions without anybody ever truly realizing what you’re doing. One of the best is “conference bingo.” You can keep a mental checklist or, if you’re competitive, you can even create boards. Include things like “barely related vendor who seems confused,” and “mansplaining” “five men all wearing the same blazer in a group” as well as the fun and positive things like “actually learned something new” “speaker answered a question succinctly,” “made a new contact,” etc.
Use the Program
Many large scale events use branded mobile conference applications, or event apps, to keep track of programming notes, schedule changes, vendor lists, etc. The great thing about these apps is that they seem almost tailor made to help the introverted attendees better enjoy an event. You can use these apps to give real time feedback to speakers and vendors. You can chat with other attendees. You could even earn some extra dough for your company by buying some advertising space within the app. Use the app to help you connect with those whose schedules might not overlap yours or with whom you especially want to meet.
Make Your Own
One of the problems with many business conventions and conferences is that it always seems to be the same people saying the same things. Why not volunteer to be a speaker yourself and help change things up a bit? Suggest a new type of panel or presentation–the kind you’ve always wanted to see and then give it yourself! You’ll feel more engaged in the event and you’ll help build your business and your reputation at the same time.
The point is: business conferences don’t have to be dull. There are lots of ways to connect with people and liven things up. The tips here are just the beginning. What are some of the things you’ve done to make these events more worthwhile?
Trump Comments on Stock Market’s latest drop – says it’s ‘peanuts’
Trump says Tuesday’s market drop is ‘peanuts’
President Donald Trump played down the stock market’s losses on Tuesday as “peanuts” when compared with the importance of striking a good deal with China and the gains since his election.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average “was about 16,000 or 15,000 and now it’s almost at 30,000,” Trump said at the NATO summit in London. “It’s going to be at 30,000.”
“If the stock market goes up or down — I don’t watch the stock market. I watch jobs. Jobs are what I watch,” he added. Today’s move is “peanuts compared to — we have picked up record numbers so that’s OK. That’s the way I feel.”
The major stock indexes slid Tuesday after Trump said he thinks it would be a good idea to delay signing a trade deal with China after the 2020 presidential election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 450 points at its lows on Tuesday, led lower by trade-vulnerable Apple, Caterpillar and 3M.
“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now, and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” Trump told reporters before U.S. markets opened Tuesday. When asked if he had a deal deadline, he added: “I have no deadline, no. … In some ways, I think it is better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth.”
Despite his assurances that he doesn’t watch the market’s daily moves, Trump often tweets within hours of when the U.S. equity market reaches an all-time high. He has tweeted the keyword “stock market” 107 times since his inauguration
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How to become a better businessman in 6 steps; Priceless advice from Entrepreneurs
Become a better businessman in 6 steps following this priceless advice from accomplished entrepreneurs.
- “Do something you’re very passionate about, and don’t try to chase what is the hot passion of the day.”
Jeff Bezos accentuates having passion for what you are doing, because if you don’t love it you are much more likely to give up. It’s hard to take an idea and turn it into reality, especially by yourself or when people whom you respect tell you it can’t be done. The passion and love you give to your project will determine it’s success rate over time.
- “Don’t let people who you may respect and who you believe know what they are talking about tell you that it can’t be done.”
Pierre Omidyar continues to say that often they will tell you it can’t be done and that’s only because they don’t have the courage to try it.
- “If you know exactly who you want to be, you need to spend as much time [as possible] with people that are actually that already.”
This advice from Gary Vaynerchuk is actually priceless when it comes to success in the business world. Think as well “It’s not what you know but who you know,” and surround yourself with people you look up to. Human’s adapt to their surroundings quickly, and soon you won’t just want to be an entrepreneur, you will also know how to act like one.
- “Come up with 10 new ideas every day.”
Coming up with at least 10 new ideas every day will keep your “idea muscle” in shape, which is critical for an entrepreneur in order to keep going and stay ahead of the fast paced business world. James Altucher continues to say that once you’ve done this for about 6 months you will be an idea machine. New ideas keep passionate projects alive and ensure growth in every direction.
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- Realize that, “naturally, nobody is interested in your ideas. You have to persuade them, and you have to show them that you are the one person out there that can do it.”
Robert Greene, an American author known for his books on strategy, also says that “no one is really going to help you or give you direction.” Realizing this sooner than others will give you a head start and the ability to stop looking for recognition in others. Instead, you can focus on your passion project and make it perfect, and the world will not be able to ignore it.
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- “Don’t think about ‘how do I get big fast.’ That will happen if you build something meaningful and important.”
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Danae Ringelmann’s advice is not something to skip. If you rush your ideas or your product you will be relying on luck more than anything to create success for you. While luck is certainly involved in alot of things, relying on it or betting on it to ‘get big fast’ doesn’t help you become a better businessman. Being proud of what you create, instilling passion into your work, and working hard will ensure success more than anything.
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