By Robert Cordray

Live events can revitalize every aspect of your business. Live events help spark or reignite the passion for a career or profession. Unfortunately, many times employees are sent to conferences without the tools and knowledge to get the desired results. Following the seven steps listed below will dramatically increase the value of any and every live event.

  1. Take care of yourself. Getting the most out of your live event starts before you leave the house. First, select an event that is relevant to your field. For instance, check out an elearning company. They have events specializing in every field. Then, make sure to get plenty of sleep prior to the event. To do this, you may need to plan ahead, pack early, and look at travel arrangements. The goal is to arrive at the conference well rested and ready jump in. Also, drink water to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine and the crash that soon follows.
  1. Use your time there wisely. If possible, show up to the live event a day early, and acquaint yourself with layout. Locate session areas, lounges, and neighboring restaurants to avoid searching at critical moments. Also, show up to each event thirty minutes early, and network with other individuals. Try to leave a day after the conference to give yourself time to create an action plan and decide how you can specifically apply what you have learned.
  1. Study marketing. Often between sessions, various companies are invited to pitch their products or services. Instead of viewing these intervals as an infomercial, look at their marketing strategies. The presenters are usually the best of the best. What can you take from their presentation and use to market your product or ideas? How are they effectively reaching their target i.e. connecting with millennials through content marketing? Search out the offers being made at various times and places. What are they offering and how? Learn from these opportunities.
  1. Build relationships. Any time that you are not in a session, should be spent building relationships. Most of the real business at live events happens in the bar and lobby, not in the classes! Instead of going to your room between sessions, step out and meet people. Focus on making friends, not contacts. One good, long-term relationship out ranks hundreds of names with no personal information. Be present when talking to others and engage in the conversation.
  1. Work for others. You will often find people you connect with, but they work in an unrelated industry, or in a distant location. Introduce them to personalities you meet. Also, champion others. When you meet someone who impresses you, introduce him or her to key players within your organization and other associates. Not only is helping others a nice thing to do, you will build your pool of people who are willing to help you.
  1. Engage yourself. Engage in sessions by asking questions and volunteering. You may ask a question to which someone has a solution, resulting in a new relationship. Also, volunteering brings you to the front of people’s minds and creates an instant connection. If the live event offers VIP services, take advantage of them. The cost will be offset by the benefits. By taking yourself to the next level you interact with others who are stepping up.
  1. Don’t lose the inspiration. Often people leave an event ready to change everything. However, on Monday, they fall back into their routine. Avoid this! Prioritize action over information in sessions. Make an action list to apply the information you receive. Keep your energy up by going over these notes on the way home. Mark important actions, and highlight the first one you are going to do.

The most important tip is simply to go to live events! If you follow the tips above, you will leave feeling energized, enthused, and inspired. Follow your action plan and see the difference you can make!

Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. Follow him at @RobertCordray.