It’s the twilight hour; a magical time when rays of late autumn sun dance playfully from watch bezels to belt buckles.
But all is not well.
A deep sense of panic.
A knotting of the stomach.
A spontaneous bead of sweat.
It’s the final networking event at SuperInvestor and you have only collected 3 business cards.
The marketing team are going to straight-up murder you!
Overwhelmed, the room starts to spin, and your last recollection is a steady hand guiding you purposefully to a comfy chair.
Fortunately for you, while many learned a new language or a musical instrument during lockdown (thank you, “determined trumpet neighbour”), Loud and Clear was busy domesticating all of time and space in preparation for a moment just like this.
As you relax into vermillion bouclé, I escort you through the tie-dyed time tunnel to exactly 3 days before the conference.
It’s rather difficult to explain but transcending the boundaries of space and time results in any spoken or written words being translated into handy, bulleted lists – always of three items.
• I am the host of conference past (compliance wants me to make it very clear that I am NOT a ghost – and I have nothing to do with Christmas)
• Due to budgetary considerations, I am also the host of conference present and conference future
• Follow my top tips below to get the most out of Superinvestor (or any other conference)
Before the conference
- First things first – set some goals
- What do you want to achieve from attending?
- Be specific and ensure every goal is quantifiable
- Understand the three things that everyone you speak to should remember about you/your company after the conference. If you are unsure, speak to your marketing team. If they are unsure, speak to us!
- Plan your day. Properly. Spend some time with the conference agenda (you HAVE downloaded it already, right?) and pick out a few sessions for each day
- Don’t just pick sessions that you find interesting or that cover subjects you want to learn more about – think about who will be in the room with you. For example, if you are a GP looking to raise assets, pick at least one session per day which will likely attract LPs
- If you have access, take a look at the delegate list and identify some key people you want to meet
- If you are able, reach out to them and arrange a time to connect
- Extend your list beyond potential clients and into potential introducers. The fastest way to extend your network is to get help from well-connected people
- Don’t forget to let existing contacts know you will be there!
During the conference
- Always be an active listener
- When in a session, make notes. This simple act will engage you more in the presentation/discussion and put you in a better position to learn, ask insightful questions, and discuss the session with other attendees (or those who missed it)
- Be prepared to ask (and answer) some simple ice-breakers e.g.
- Have any sessions or speakers stood out to you so far?
- Were there any sessions you missed that you had hoped to see (hopefully you attended one of these and can offer an insightful summary)?
- Was there anything you were hoping to see more of on the agenda?
- Try to help
- The most effective networkers offer help before asking for help
- Your first priority when meeting someone new should be to find out how you can help them – and that doesn’t mean selling your product or services
After the conference
- Help your marketing team help you
- Ensure new contacts are entered into your database and existing ones are updated
- Schedule a debrief to give your honest feedback about the conference
- Assess your performance
- Compare your actual performance to the goals you set before the conference
- Did you meet the people you wanted to, and did you make the right impression with them?
- How could you improve your performance for the next conference?
- Follow up. Properly
- Organise the list of people you met into different categories e.g. “hot lead” or “potential introducer”
- For each category decide on an appropriate next activity. For hot leads it might be a product demonstration or introduction to a sales team. For potential introducers it might be a lunch or other, less formal, activity
- Whatever you decide, make sure you reach out to them within a week
Want to see if we follow our own advice? Come and see us at Superinvestor London at the InterContinental O2 from 20th to 23rd September. The following MJ Hudson staff will be attending, including yours truly – assuming I can extricate myself from a small legal snafu with the Dickens Estate:
Lauren Radford, Vice President, Business Development – https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-radford-6619492b/
If you have any questions, please contact Matthew Craig-Greene.