So you’ve got Marketing In Focus coming up. It’s your first business event, or it’s your first important one that you want to leave a good impression in. You’ve paid for this event, and you want to get something useful out of it, not just some food and social media posts to make you look cool. You want this to be your breakthrough event where people look at you, and are impressed with your presentation. Because really, these events are a lot about personal presentation.
But what do you do first? Let me give you some quick advice on how to successfully attend your event! This is all largely based on what I’ve learned through the years of going to these events. They are no means a concrete set of rules you must follow, but it’ll definitely help if you’re feeling uneasy about the whole thing.
A good place to start is figuring out what the setting of the event is going to be (ie, is it an open meeting place, are there presenters, etc). If you don’t know, find out what’s going on. There’s always going to be information about the event on their media pages (Facebook event, or whatever else), and if there’s things you are unclear about, ask someone who knows more! Knowing the setting is important because you can prepare how you will present yourself. Remember, this is all about your presentation!
Once you’ve figured out the setting, now you can plan yourself out. Have fun with this!
Step 1: Finding an appropriate outfit
Why is this important? This is one of the first things people will notice, and it’s important not to be over, or under, dressed. How smart you can arrange your outfit won’t win you all the points, but it goes a long way, and will assist you in standing out. For guys, maybe get a haircut within a week on the event. Ladies, do what you do with your hair, because it’s always looking flawless.
Step 2: Go in with a goal
You don’t want to just be at these events. You want to involve yourself to get the most out of it. In order to do that, pick at least two goals for the day. It could be as simple as meeting five different people to getting a new job lead. Goals are a great way to objectify your purpose, and allows you to reflect on how you did. Give yourselves a challenge, people!
Step 3: Know who’s attending
This is particularly important if you have a chance to chat with those people. This goes to show you took the time to really know who he or she is, and study what they do, which will be appreciated. This also allows you to ask industry or job specific questions you may have. You never want to standing there after you’ve shaken hands with whomever you’ve just met, and have nothing to say.
Step 4: Perfect your intro
Arguably the most important part about going to the event. This intro is your stage, and you need to be a star. Don’t think that owning your stage happens the first time around; it does take practice. But the more confident you are in your presentation, the easier you are to sell. If you have to, for your first couple of times fake your confidence. People will see it, and you’ll feel better in the conversation. For the content of your personal pitch, I suggest keeping it short and concise. Be personable, and don’t be afraid to add emotion and passion in your speech. Have fun with it, but don’t over sell yourself. You’ll find what works for you very soon!
Step 5: Post-event musts
So you’ve now rocked the event, and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. But your job isn’t done yet! Take those goals in Step 2, and see if you were able to complete them. Reflect on what you enjoyed from the event, see where you can improve for next times, and reinforce where you think you did well. Most importantly, follow up with those awesome connections you’ve just made. Being interested in what he or she was able to offer only at the event doesn’t make you a go-getter; being the one who follows up for another meeting makes you the go-getter! Don’t you want that super cool job, with super cool people, doing super cool things? I know I would.
Here are some photos from last year’s Marketers’ Night!
I hope to see you tomorrow at Marketing In Focus! Good luck, and go be awesome!