8 ways to get more out of your conference

Tickets are booked, conference pass is paid; you are attending the next big affiliate conference. What to expect? Lots of speeches and talks from industry professionals, meeting dozens of new people and some good parties.

With the number of shows hosted in affiliate marketing, the odds are pretty high you already attended and have a short list of tactics to make the most out of your conference. But if not or if you are interested in switching up your conference tactics we’ve got some tips for you.

Agenda (and hidden agenda)

Closer to the show the official agenda will be launched. Conference events, keynote speakers and the opening of the market.  The official agenda is nice and good to keep an eye on, but you actually want to go for the hidden agenda. Privately hosted parties, drinks and meetups are the best. Ask your AM’s and people you meet at the show for their plans and if they can intro you to the right person for the party of the night. 

Register Early

Everyone knows it and still there is a line to pick up badges the day of the conference. You don’t want to be that person stuck in line while all the others are already having their coffee and business talks at the conference. Often there is an option to register the day before, its worth the effort of going there and get it over with. You can definitely spend your time better at the showfloor than standing in line.

Keep it organised

While at the conference a massive amount of information will be dumped at you. During short chats, long meetings, happy hours and even club sessions you will gather names, notes and business cards. Which you are unlikely able to link to the correct conversation or priority the next day.

Good to know – organizing it won’t cost you much time or effort. Strike the iron while it’s hot and half the work is already done before you get back home. Write key points on the back of people’s business cards or capture cards in dedicated apps. During happy hour quickly write down a couple of notes in your phone after each conversation – anything that will trigger your mind the next day or week to remember the conversation is good enough.

Plan wisely

No matter how much of an early bird you are – morning meetings at the show are not the best idea. In an industry where so much business and relationship building is done while going out, having nice dinners and enough drinks; mornings aren’t the brightest for most people.

If you skip morning meetings, you better make the most out of the rest of the day. Lunch break? Great slot to have a meeting. You will spend more time on this one, take advanatage of that and make it an interesting one.

Have an open mind set

Everyone is at the show with the same mindset. People are there to learn, get inspired and have a good time. Make use of the opportunity and talk to others about your challenges, an alternative perspective might help you build out your current company.

Prepare

Showing up at the conference prepared and on a mission to get insights that will help your company. Knowing what you want will keep yourself accountable for getting the most out of the event.

Questions that you can think of in your preparation to have a good conversation starter at the show with a clear direction of the outcome.  

  • I’ve had a hard time with (Scaling, picking offers, employees, you name a challenge), do you or anyone you know have any experience with overcoming that?
  • This year I’ve tried this vertical (or something that did or didn’t work) and saw these results (Fill in), do you have any recommendations for making it better next time?
  • What’s something you’ve heard people testing recently that worked really well for their business? Why do you think it worked? Can you introduce me to these people? 

Meet the exhibitors 

Every show you will see new exhibitors pop up. New companies, rebranding, merged companies, its a day task staying on top of all these changes. The market is constantly changing but most companies are at the conference because the audience is a good match for their company.

Still doesn’t mean they are a good match to your company. It is oke to tell people you are not interested in their service or that they are not a good match for now. However always take the card, you never know what your situation is in a couple of months and if they might be the right fit a bit further down the road.

Work hard play hard

Wodka isn’t just a social lubricator, it’s a useful business lubricator as well. Rooftop drinks, club tables and parties are where the best connections are made.  Instead of spending the night at your hotel room, go out and enjoy the night. That being said – spending a day hangover at the conference hall is cruel, a good one to keep that in the back of your mind.