Know What/Who You Want To See
Review the Agenda and mark your choices in advance. You don’t want to be out in the hall while the speaker is being introduced – you want to be in the room ahead of time.
This is from me to you: It’s OK to leave a session that is not for you. If you went into the wrong room then get up immediately and leave. If the speaker is distressed by your leaving, it’s not your problem. If the speaker is just too awful for words – leave immediately and text me at once: 805-403-4075 or @jimsterne. I picked each and every one of them and if they’re not delivering, I need to know.
Make a List of What You Want Out of the
eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit
This will help you convince your boss to let you go and help you know which sessions to go to. Include a list of the questions you want to ask specific speakers.
You’ve already put it out there that you’re going right? Find some time to meet-and-greet your peeps – but make sure you meet new people too. That’s the most important part.
And during the Summit, use hashtag: #emetrics
When sharing a lunch table or even just standing in line, say “Hello, My name is ___.” You’re not interrupting. People like it when other people show an interest. Trust me. And bring a fist-full of business cards. Yes, I know it’s dead trees, but some of my favorite possessions are business cards from people from way back when. Start collecting now.
No, this Summit doesn’t have a dress code. But you’ll always see me wearing a jacket because a) the rooms are ALWAYS cold. Always. And b) pockets. Can’t have too many (unless they’re on the outside).
Talk to the Vendors
These companies believe so strongly that they can help you that they paid to attend. So take the time to find out what they offer in the way of goods, systems and services. You are under no obligation to buy, but you owe it to yourself (and your company) to understand what tools and technologies are available these days. Talk to those you think you know to see what’s new and to those you’ve never heard of to see what they’ve got that’s so hot.
Did you come with others from your organization? Separate. Cover twice as many sessions. Talk to twice as many people and then compare notes.
Start Your Trip Report Now
Spend every moment thinking about what you’re going to tell the folks back home. Take notes. If you act like you’re at the Summit on behalf of others you will learn more and those others will benefit greatly.
Don’t Spend Any Time “Working”
It’s so tempting to think that you can bring work along. I’ll do it on the plane/the train/during boring presentations, at breaks, etc. Give it a rest. Be here now. Wrap your mind around what’s being said. Sometimes the best ideas I get at conferences are not directly related to the subject at hand but something that was said made me think of something else. Keep your mind open for those connections.
Every best idea has either come from or been enhanced by conversations in between sessions. Do not be the one in the corner trying to catch up on email. Don’t be that guy. (Guess what? You can never catch up on your email.)
Social media demands proof. So does your boss.