I’ve been fortunate over my years as an entrepreneur to be able to attend (and host) literally hundreds of events. Here are my best tips for making the most out of events, connecting with legends like Kevin Harrington, Greg Rollett and Jeff Hoffman, and making lasting friendships and business relationships that helped take my entrepreneurial career to the next level.
1) Connect with Speakers
When you attend an event you need to make sure you listen to as many speakers as possible and learn what they have to share. Their 45-minute keynote could change your life. It just takes 1 piece of advice that could change your entire journey.
For example, in 2011 I heard a speech by Cactus Jack Barringer that changed my life forever. He led me to the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon which completely changed my mindset and ultimately led to me becoming the VP of Business Development for the new docudrama THINK: The Legacy of Think and Grow Rich.
Besides listening to the speaker, be sure to connect with them after their speech. Let them know how you can help them or add value. I know as a speaker myself, I don’t always remember the people who ask for my advice or want something from me, but I will never forget the people who offer to add value to me and actually follow through with it. Those are the people I end up working with in some way.
2) Find Paying Clients
You go to events to learn and have a good time, but also it’s a great opportunity to make some money in the process. Everyone goes to an event to better themselves and look for ways to make more money for their business. If you have a valuable product or service to offer then you must let people know about it. Most people need your services, they just don’t know who you are yet.
Every event I go to I make sure that everyone in the room knows who I am and what I do. I make a lasting impression on them that they will never forget.
How do I do that?
If there is an opportunity to grab the mic to ask questions or say something, grab that mic and let your voice be heard. Be energetic and active! Talk with everyone in the room and show them who you are and how you can help them. Make it your mission to find new clients and generate sales from an event! Every event I’ve gone to in the past 2 years has led to a sale then or later down the road.
It’s because I go there on a mission to find clients and get the best ROI on my ticket price to be there. Events are awesome but it’s even more fun when you leave motivated with a pocket full of cash to invest in your own business and new business endeavors.
3) The Follow Up Is Everything
After the event is when the real work begins. The biggest mistake people make afterward is they don’t do anything with the ideas and knowledge they attain from it. Also, they don’t follow up with the people they met. We all live a crazy life and forget about things fast. During the event, you should make a list of the people you want to continue to maintain a relationship with and be sure to follow up by email or text a day or two after.
In 2016 I threw my first ever event in Iowa called Young Entrepreneur Convention, which became Iowa’s largest entrepreneurial event with nearly 500 attendees. Here are three big wins I made with speakers I followed up with after.
- Kevin Harrington – Kevin spoke and judged our pitch competition. We ended up working on multiple deals over the next year. We did a crowdfunding campaign together, I threw a mastermind for him in Florida, and we even ended up co-authoring the book Put a Shark in Your Tank which became a #1 Best Seller!
- Greg Rollett – During the event, Greg asked me to fly down to Orlando, Florida to film a master class with him on Crowdfunding. I agreed and met with him in Florida 3 weeks after. That day we formed a partnership to produce and co-host a TV show together called Ambitious Adventures. We filmed an entire season since then and today we are pitching to big networks.
- Jeff Hoffman – Jeff, the founder of PriceLine.com, is by far one of the best speakers I have ever heard. I have much respect for him and everything that he does. I kept in regular communication with him via text, email, and occasional phone calls. He became my mentor. Now he is giving Greg and me advice on our TV show and helping us get in front of a big network in Hollywood.
The next time you attend an event make sure you connect with speakers, find paying clients, and follow up on opportunities. Going to the right events could be all you need for your business to prosper in 2017 and beyond.
As for my event, I’m going on my second year for Young Entrepreneur Convention. It will take place in Des Moines, Iowa on April 21 and 22. This year our featured Keynotes are Joel Comm and Jake Paul. Also, Greg and I decided to fly in our Emmy Award-Winning Film crew and capture it all on camera for our TV show Ambitious Adventures.
If you want to join me you can get more details at YoungEntrepreneurConvention.com.
As a speaker and emcee, maybe we can connect and make a deal. Who knows what it might turn into. See you there!Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.