Lucky 7 Conference Tips

A few weeks back, I spoke at a small conference in Las Vegas for the Forex market called the Forex Affiliate Conference, which is run by the guys from the Casino Affiliate Conference. It was the smallest conference I ever spoke at (about 20 people) but it ended up being one of the most productive. I made some really great connections and was able to target my presentation to what information would be most useful for the attendees. From speaking there, I came up with some conference tips that are appropriate for any upcoming event you may be attending.

Lucky 7 Conference Tips

1. Reserve judgment for the end. Just because a conference has 5,000 attendees doesn’t mean that you will get anything out of it.  A conference is about who you meet and what you learn and if it is too crowded and overwhelming for you to meet anyone or learn anything, than it was probably a waste of money. On the other hand, just because there are only 20 people there, doesn’t that these aren’t the right 20 people and best leads you can find.

2. Network regardless of your mood. Just because the conference isn’t exactly what you expected is not an excuse to sit in your hotel room or bail on your presentation. Talk to other attendees or presenters, don’t be shy just strike up a conversation over a beer.

3. If nothing is planned, plan it yourself. If there are not parties, dinners or events planned for that night, get everyone together and plan and time and meeting location yourself. DK planned the Pubcon Poker Tournament, the least you can do is plan dinner.

4. If you are presenting, gear your presentation to your audience. A smaller conference gives you the benefit of meeting everyone and asking them what they want to learn. It also leads to more audience participation. If you are in the audience, ask questions and participate.

5. There is always something you can learn, so sit in on a couple of sessions. No one knows everything, so sitting in on a couple of sessions can be really beneficial.  I don’t do a lot of affiliate marketing, so the nuggets of information that I gathered will definitely be helpful for my own sites.

6. Don’t tell people overly specific information. Just because someone asks you a direct question face to face about one of your clients site doesn’t mean you have to tell them your clients best keyword/conversion tactic/seo tactic etc.

7. Don’t stick to just hanging out with people you know. I am sure your coworkers are great people, but this is your chance to broaden your horizons and meet new people.  Go up to someone you don’t know and just start a conversation. The vast majority of the time, people at your conference will be very friendly and responsive.

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4 Responses to “Lucky 7 Conference Tips”

  1. Julie Joyce says:

    Excellent advice Lauren…and you know you’re on my bad side due to how insanely good you looked at Rand’s wedding.

    The networking is, to me, the ABSOLUTE most important part of any conference. Also remember that no one gives you better tips on SEO than an SEO who’s had a couple of vodka tonics.

  2. Julie’s absolutely right. Get a couple of drinks in an SEO and they are more likely to give you some really good info. I’m a kettle one on the rocks (with a slice of lemon) kind of girl myself.
    In regards to the wedding, it was all the dress :)

  3. This reminds me of a trade show conference that I worked a few decades ago for SGI. It was the supercomputer show. The Trade show floor was only open between 11-12 and 4-5. There were about 200 attendees to the show. Despite that, us vendors set up with a full trade show entourage, our best people, and treated those visitors like royalty. In fact, we had more people working our booth than we did visitors during the show.

    Needless to say, it was easily a very smart investment by SGI. Good point.

  4. I visited a small SES conference in Miami once and had the most productive two hours that I’ve ever spent at a conference. The Google booth had a dozen people at work and very few visitors. I grabbed one and asked who, in the booth, was their “SEO guru”. They pointed me towards a woman who turned out to be a goldmine. She was Vanessa Fox (real name) and at that time, was running the Webmaster tools. It was my initiation into some of the subtleties of SEO implementation. Tiny underpopulated conference equals incredible access to people.

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