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15 Best Tips to Get the Best ROI Out of Attending a Live Event / Conference

On our most recent 48Days.net Virtual Community gathering we talked about tips on how to get the most out of attending a live event. 

In a nutshell, here are some of the top 14 tips we talked about (the top 10 tips were taken from Dan's blog HERE):

  1.  Make a list of 3 speakers you want to meet – Why? Have specific questions in advance.
  2.  Attend with someone who is just as interested in learning as you are.
  3.  Craft your Elevator Speech  (1) Who you are (2) What you do (3) Why are you here?
  4.  Have 50 sharp business cards – with your elevator speech printed on the back.
  5.  Get to the meetings early and talk to other attendees. (Don’t try to talk to speakers 5 minutes before their presentations.
  6.  Take 12 pre-stamped postcards to use as Thank Yous to people you meet.  It will leave a major impression if they get a card from you by the time they get home.
  7.  Create a list of notes and questions as you listen.
  8.  Make at least two introductions per day between attendees you’ve just met.  Remember, never eat alone.   Look for opportunities to get to know people during meal times.
  9.  Identify 5 new people you want to stay in touch with.
  10.   Thank the speakers for sharing valuable insights.
  11. Offer to help out at an event - this is a great way to get connected further with the event coordinators and attendees.
  12. If you are a speaker, let event coordinators from around the area know you are speaking so they can see you speak in front of a live audience and/or have the option to book you for a staff training, etc. since you will be in the area anyways.
  13. Arrive early and/or stay late to make the most of your time in the area. Also gives you margin to plan things with other attendees if the opportunity arises.
  14. Use the flight time back home or block some time the next day to organize your notes and make a list of the top 1-5 action items you will do as a result of the conference. 
  15. Have fun! Connect! Learn! Take Action!

What tips have worked for you? 

On another note, here are some upcoming events that I highly recommend:

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Group Leader
Comment by Jen McDonough "The Iron Jen" on May 10, 2016 at 6:08pm

Thanks Lynne and Lady J - I love to use that "useless" flight time to get things organized and have action steps ready to go so that when my feet hit the office door they are off and running. Many thanks again for your kind notes gang!


Group Leader
Comment by Jevonnah Ellison on May 10, 2016 at 4:15pm

Great suggestion about the flight time, Lynne!

Love that!


Group Leader
Comment by Lynne Watts on May 10, 2016 at 4:05pm

Totally agree with all of these Jen.  I love #14

Use the flight time back home or block some time the next day to organize your notes and make a list of the top 1-5 action items you will do as a result of the conference. 

So often I love a conference, come home and never look at the notes again.  It helps to set a goal or intention while at the conference and share that with someone else.  Or set up a plan for accountability.  

Thanks for sharing:)

Comment by Holly Scherer on May 7, 2016 at 8:19am

Glad to hear it's useful David. I'm in the process of cleaning out 15+ years of paperwork, notes, etc. from my office so I can relate to the 1/2 legible stuff. I've set aside the good stuff to scan so that I can make it useful again. :) 

Comment by David Tanksley on May 7, 2016 at 7:33am

Thanks Holly, That "taking notes" I can really relate to!  I was going though papers last month and found some notes from a Zig Ziglar seminar I went to. (That was a while ago)  Still only 1/2 legible. I remembered them when I read them but they were not "filed" so as to find later.  Thanks for the tip on Evernotes too.

Comment by Holly Scherer on May 6, 2016 at 3:42pm

Great list, Jen. 

This is connected to #14. I usually take notes on paper, which I am terrible at managing. I know that if it stays on paper, it's not going to happen. After a conference I review my notes and type action items and important lessons into Evernote. It's a great way to help remember the key learnings and prioritize action steps. Plus I know I'll be able to find the note when I need it. 


Group Leader
Comment by Jen McDonough "The Iron Jen" on May 6, 2016 at 3:11pm

Thanks for all the great notes gang!!! Great to gain some ideas around areas to help us get the most out of our time, money and efforts. Thanks again for taking time to comment!!! 

Kristen, thanks for the affirmation on the cards. I know Joanne Miller is a master at handwritten thank you notes - nice to know it is a rare touch. Thank you!! 

Comment by David Tanksley on May 4, 2016 at 7:05pm

I can now see that going in with a plan, a goal, WILL make all the difference .Thank you for this good information.  

Comment by Micki Vandeloo on May 4, 2016 at 9:36am

Love these tips!  I am so sorry I have been AWOL from the Coaching Mastery events, including the Tuesday evening ones, but my schedule has absolutely precluded me from being there.  I hope to attend as I am able this year.

Comment by Justin Gentry on May 4, 2016 at 6:34am

 I agree with Kristen. I love the pre-stamped postcards idea! 

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