What to do BEFORE.
The runway that you have before an event is going to help you make the most of the time you have during the actual event. Here are a few things you’ll want to do before the event to make sure you’re set-up for success.
You could take these actions anytime between 3 weeks prior to the event to the day the event starts.
- 1.Find the event hashtags. Event hashtags are the most used hashtags on LinkedIn. Following the hashtag will share content from people outside of your network talking about the event.
- Post about going to the event and include the event hashtags. Here are some ideas:
- Post a photo of you the last time you were at that event and talk about how excited you are to go again.
- Share why you’re excited to go to this event for the first time with an image from where the event will be held.
- Ask your network if they’ll be attending or have attended and if they haveany tips.
- Add that post you just published as a Featured item on your profile by clicking the ••• in the upper right-hand corner of your post and ☆ Feature on top of profile.
- Update your profile so your Headline statement reflects what you and your organization are leading with at this event.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Update your profile photo. You want your profile photo to look like the person that shows up at this event. Even if you would much rather be younger, thinner, have more hair. You can Do it Yourself here.
- The internal team going with you to the event.
- The clients you want to engage with.
- The prospects you want to meet.
I’d love to meet and discuss. I help organizations with event strategy, equipping leaders with the skills to have a great event that’s measurable and capture the opportunity at hand. Schedule 30 minutes with me to discuss.
MOST IMPORTANT ACTION
Define what a successful event will be for you. With a clear objective, you can ensure your success. Without this defined, you’ll be left to decide its personal value to you based on the last 15 minutes (never the strongest moment). Want to take this on mad-libs style?
At this event, I’d like to connect in real life with __ internal team members, have __ conversations with existing clients, meet __ prospective clients, stop by __ booths from partners and aligned organizations, and grow my awareness of what’s going on in the broader market with __ key takeaways I can share with the team not attending live.
What to do DURING.
If you haven’t been to an event in person in a while, here are some tips:
- Clear the rest of your schedule. Events take up a lot of time and a lot of energy. If you’re trying to juggle you won’t be giving your best to this event and this is an experience that you can’t “make up” later.
- Take a selfie around event signage – you’ll want a few different shots. You can either use this for a post during the event or in a reflection post after the event.
- Take a picture of your organization’s booth at the event or their logo in the book as a sponsor. Any representation of your organization at the event is great.
- During panel and keynotes, take a few notes. You can use these notes to establish connections after the event with the speakers.
- Key statistics mentioned.
- A particularly interesting story.
- New ideas.
- Questions that you have.
- Engage on social media. Like your organization’s posts from the event, engage with the people using the event hashtag. Don’t worry so much about posting during the event – everyone is overwhelmed at the event. Do the things you can only do at the event: connect in person.
What to do AFTER.
This is where the real work comes in. An event is a powerful opportunity to start conversations but to create real Return on Investment the work is in the follow- through.
- Evaluate your objectives to what you achieved.
- If you met your goals what were the keys to your success?
- If you exceeded, in what ways did you underestimate the possibilities?
- If you didn’t reach your objectives what was in the way of you achieving?
- Post a recap – remember to be of-service. For someone that didn’t get to attend this live what were the impactful moments? Make sure to include the event hashtag and tag your internal team members who were also at the event.
- The first business day after the event it’s time to connect.
- Connect with the panelists’ and keynote speakers. Lean on your notes that you took at the event and provide a genuine note of appreciation. Here’s an example: Paul – I had an opportunity to sit in on the panel at EVENT a few days ago. Your point about INSERT NOTES was particularly relevant given what’s impact INDUSTRY right now. I look forward to being connected and seeing where you’re contributing next! – Cass
- Connect with the clients and prospects. Here’s an example: Paul – It was great meeting in person. Looking forward to continuing our conversation as the timing aligns. – Cass
- Connect with other people following the event hashtag. It’s okay if they’re competitors – you have more to learn from all of them. Just make sure that your connections are not visible.