I love going to conferences – do you?

I love the hustle and the bustle. I love meeting new people and making connections. And I really love the exposure the conference itself can give me as I tweet, post and write about the event.

But often people miss out on a crucial first step to making the most out of this time.

One of the best ways to lay the ground work for a successful conference or event is to do some legwork before it ever even begins.

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Ideas to lay the ground work for a successful conference

First, check to see if they have an event only Facebook page.
If they don’t, jump in and offer to create one for them! Getting behind the scenes in that way, offering to help, will make you memorable and possibly go a long way to getting you invited back next year to be a keynote instead of just a participant.

If they do have a Facebook Event Page, then stake your claim here. Post useful links, updates, facts and figures, that will help all guests who are going. In this way your name becomes visible and you are linked in guest’s minds as a ready resource of information. That goes a long way toward setting the foundation of trust and expert status.

Second, share the event flyers around your platforms online.
Share them often and early. Try to generate buzz around the fact that you are going to this event. Ask questions of people who have been there before. Ask questions to engage those who haven’t.

Questions such as: “What is the best place to park – locals help!” or “Dish me up the best ice cream spot”. or “Who knows the smartest place to start?” Or “What is the #1 question you would like me to ask and bring back the answer?”

Third, find out the event hashtag and use it.
When posting on Twitter, sharing your excitement, asking questions, and posting good information, be sure to use that hashtag so you can be found in the stream of people focused on the same event.

Fourth, do some research on the hashtag and see who else is talking about it.
Retweet or share or favorite their posts too. Dig a little deeper and see what business niche they are in, where they are from, etc. Introduce yourself and offer to meet up (if they are local and you feel good about that) or share information to gain maximum benefit from the conference. You never know what prospect client or partnership is waiting!

Fifth, create a Twitter list of the speakers and sponsors.
Remember my blog post on why I love Twitter lists? One big reason, the convenience of finding and sharing specific information, you can use that right here! Just click on the names in the list and each day share something new from a speaker or sponsor.
Promoting others is one of the best ways to gain attention, traction and engagement. Keep it up and you just might get noticed!

Sixth, research the speakers.

Use this research when you engage with them during the conference so you can talk intelligently about recent events they have done and specifics about their business services or products. Be ready to network like you would a career building job interview! Be prepared and the luck will follow.

Seventh, ask yourself: can you use anything you gain in the conference for a promotion or giveaway on your own website and platforms?
Maybe as an attendee you get half off a 2nd ticket, or maybe you will receive a “prize bonus” for buying early and staying late. Is there something related you can create that works as a fun prize for a contest you run on your own social media before or after the event? Promotion and buzz along with a little bit of fun goes a long way toward social media prosperity.

Finally after you get home, unpack and do that laundry (ok maybe do this before the laundry) the final step is to be sure to connect with all your new contacts via LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the place to do business for business people. Add them to a newly created contact tag so you can remember how you met! Unless you met your new best friend, if that’s the case Facebook all the way, it’s wise to keep the connecting to LinkedIn. And remember to remind your new connect-tee where you met! Making your connect request personal leads to an exponential increase in that request being accepted.

Read more about do’s and don’t here: this article is a nice cohesive list of the social media etiquette before, during and after conferences.

Tell me, what is the next event you are attending? And what are you doing about it now?

Need some quick tip guidance on what to do first? Join me in my LinkedIn group! There I always answer questions directly and quickly.

I look forward to hearing your after-conference-success stories here or on LinkedIn!