Conference season for women entrepreneurs is in full swing! Over the next few weeks, I’m attending multiple events as a keynote speaker, as well as an attendee. This time of year is perfect to get out of the office and connect with potential business resources and new clients. The key is to be prepared for success. “Showing up” won’t get you the results you’re hoping for. The key is to show up with a strategy that works.
Here are six strategies that are guaranteed to get you winning results when you attend conferences and events:
1. Grab Your Seat – Research events happening in your area where your ideal client will attend and mark your calendar to attend those events. In-person networking is hands down the number one way to get solid clients and connect with potential referral sources.
2. Show Your Stand Out Style – Give some thought to your networking wardrobe. What I wear to drop my kids off at school in the morning is not what I wear to a conference or networking event! What gives you a feeling of confidence or adds a pep in your step? I like to have a fresh cut and color before I head out to speak or network. Some women prefer to have their nails done or wear a signature piece of jewelry. What color makes you feel happy and energetic? Be sure to add those into your wardrobe.
3. Have Your Marketing Materials Ready – Take a look at your business cards, website, brochures and any other marketing materials you plan to share at the event. Do they accurately describe your business and the services you offer? If not, spend some time re-working your materials or reach out to a graphic designer or web specialist who can give your marketing a fresh look.
4. Arrive Early – Remember the age old phrase, “the early bird gets the worm”? This phrase applies when it comes to attending events, especially if you feel a little anxious about networking in large gatherings. This one tip can give you a big advantage. Arriving early allows you to choose your seat and meet guests as they walk into the room rather than trying to wedge yourself into a group conversation that’s already in progress.
5. Listen Up – Establish a rapport with people by asking questions and listening to their answers. This will give you insight into their business and help you discover how you can serve and support them.
6. Follow-up – If you take advantage of the five strategies I’ve already shared, you’ll certainly have people to follow up with. The key is to follow-up right away – don’t delay! If you promised someone a referral or agreed that lunch may be a good next step, follow-up by phone or email soon after the event. People’s lives are busy and if you don’t take action right away, you can potentially lose a valuable contact.
There’s never been a better time of year to get out of the office and connect with people who can support you in achieving your entrepreneurial dreams. I hope to see you at an event for women entrepreneurs soon!
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2012 Joy Chudacoff
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