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Useful tips for attending conferences

As the International Festival of Business in Liverpool is now in full swing here are a few tips to help you maximise your visit.  

1) Befriend receptionists as the gatekeepers are key; quite often if you know who you’d like to speak to but haven’t a clue what they look like or even if they have attended the event then this is the person who can tell you or perhaps even introduce you or point them out.

2) As if they have wifi & input the wifi code as soon as you arrive at the event & silence your phone at same time as there’s nothing worse than trying to introduce yourself when the other person is preoccupied on their phone.  God forbid if you end up being that person who got into conversation and then forgot to silence their phone once the speeches begin.

3) Check out the hashtags & twitter information on arrival too.  There’s nothing worse than tweeting a comment you loved from a presentation and then not being able to remember or even find (see my upcoming blog about running an event!) the appropriate hashtag.

4) Smile & chat to security staff on the door when you arrive at the event too clocking their names.  Remember it’s all about who you know not what you know so when you see the person you’ve been trying to chat to all event and they’ve entered the VIP/Sponsors area but you’re names not on the list then you may be able to blag your way in if your “friend” the security person is on the door.

5) Arrive early to chat & make yourself known to the host before they are preoccupied with greeting everyone else.  Remember this is the person who invited you and who also knows everyone else here.  You can’t beat a word of mouth recommendation or introduction.

6) Always chat to those people arriving on their own or stood in the sidelines too.  Some of the most powerful and important people I have met in this way often because they don’t NEED to network anymore.  Think the Editor-in-Chief of the largest news agency in the world or a Chief Executive.

7) Make little notes on the business cards you receive straight after the event to remind you where you met someone, what was said or you promised to do straight after the event then it’s easy to be thoughtful or to have a good memory

8) Make use of your mobile phone and technology.  Look someone you’d like to meet up on Linkedin to see what they look like so you can identify them and use your camera on your phone to take photos of interesting slides in presentations.  Who needs a note book when you have modern technology?

Sarah Gormley is founder and Director of Tree Communications and attends multiple events every week.  You can see her linkedin profile here uk.linkedin.com/in/sarahgormley/

 For more information on the International Festival of Business in Liverpool see www.ifb2014.com 

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