In October, I attended three conferences. Three!
This… after not traveling to any conference in three years.
The first one was a writing retreat in Vermont, which was more like a very intimate conference. It lasted three and half days.
The second was a one-day conference for women copywriters, held in Delray Beach, Florida.
And the third was a three-day marketing conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
My blog has been inactive since September 21, 2017 because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and planning. I’ve been re-evaluating what I do, why I do it, and for whom.
If you approach them right, attending conferences can be helpful for one’s business. With all the information available both online and offline, I think the #1 benefit for attending a live conference is for networking. Period.
Let’s face it. We’re not lacking for programs, courses, books, webinars, etc. – no matter what your profession may be. There is enough information out there to last you ten lifetimes (at least).
But meeting people face-to-face? That’s invaluable.
The Magic of Live Connections
When I attend a webinar, a live chatbox can come close but it still falls short of what happens when you’re in a room full of people with similar interests and ambition.
It’s not just the great content that is presented at events which make an impact – it’s the conversations they start.
During all of the events I attended, the truly eye-opening breakthroughs came as I was discussing a particular point a speaker made and the other person shared their insights… which then led to an even deeper revelation for me.
That’s the magic of connections.
It’s those conversations that happen during breaks and mealtimes. The conversations that happen as you linger at an exhibitor’s table and strike up a good conversation with the person representing the company.
It’s the conversations with one of the presenters who just happened to walk near your spot in the main conference room. Or when you recognized someone who wrote a book you bought and you decided to approach them (and follow up with them).
Or when serendipity hits and you end up having lunch with two highly-accomplished women who also could become sources of referrals or crucial advice for you.
These types of connections simply can’t happen if you’re at home sipping Keurig-brewed coffee.
The Magic of Live Event “Inspirational Alchemy”
This one is a little more challenging to describe, but once I start telling you what it is, I bet you’ll realize you’ve experienced it, too.
I call it “inspirational alchemy.” It’s what happens when you’re in a room and you feel the excitement and energy from everyone around you. The speakers and the attendees join together to suddenly give you revelations and epiphanies that are unexpected and powerful.
I have given presentations and watched this happen. It’s so cool. My favorite part of presentations is actually at the end, after I’ve finished answering questions. I watch as people interact with one another and there is almost a literal “hum” in the room. It’s like everyone’s minds have zeroed in on the same frequency and are sharing their insights with each other – which births even more insight.
Everything I’m telling you is meant to inspire ideas for how you can use this with your own clients.
I have seen several people launch their own live event in 2017. One had an online-only membership group. Another has an online marketing service and they decided to hold their own live conference event.
All of them have done webinars. LOTS of them, in fact.
But they realize the hunger people have for connecting with each other in person.
The Magic of Simplicity
At this moment, your customer is overwhelmed. There is a lot coming at her. An inbox bursting at the seams with all kinds of emails… a “To Do” list that never ends… demands on her time from family and friends… and in the midst of it all, she’s trying to figure out how to stay afloat and not drown while chasing her dreams.
If you’re in the midst of planning a live event, make things easier for her, will you?
Clarity. Simplicity. Guidance.
That’s what will help address overwhelm.
One event I attended was the 2017 GKIC Info-Summit, held this year in Cleveland, Ohio. Although around 400 attended, I was surprised that the registration went so smoothly. I’ve worked at conferences before and if registration seems disorganized or chaotic, it seems to be mirrored in the overall experience.
The GKIC staff was friendly and helpful. The registration process was quick and easy. The table set up in the back of the room was filled with people who could answer questions. I met several staff members who gave me direction or information clearly and concisely.
These are the types of organizations I love to be around.
Live events can be life-changing events. But they also can be a huge disappointment if they’re light on content, a big “pitchfest’ from the stage, or if the event volunteers are rude.
One of the biggest messages I took away from the events I attended was this: How can I make things easier for my client?
How can I simplify things for my client?
The one-day women-only copywriting event in Florida addressed this with some great presentations. I learned how to communicate better and discover what could help my clients as I helped them develop their message.
What does your customer experience when doing business with you? Is there an orderly process for onboarding or do you operate on the fly?
There’s a saying with writers. When they write without an outline, it’s called “writing pantsless.” In other words, they’re writing without a net or without much planning.
However, if you’re trying to sell a solution to someone, I’d highly suggest developing a process for reaching them. And yes, it’s self-serving to say this but it’s a good idea to hire a good, qualified copywriter who understands this.
If a copywriter has a good process, they also will know how to position your product or service in such a way that your prospective customer will “get it.” Disorganized service providers will rarely deliver a service that creates a positive outcome – for both you and your own clients and prospects.
We live in a world where we need to constantly focus on developing ourselves and building up our knowledge base. It would be tempting to think that all we need to do is turn on our computer and download stuff.
But the reality is that we learn more about ourselves – and others – when we have the opportunity to interact at a live event. Plus, we’re able to network with people on a deeper level and learn if we might be a good fit for them and vice versa.
Although it might be tempting to sign up for yet another webinar from the comfort of your own home, I’d recommend that in 2018, you make time to attend at least one conference for business and/or personal development. You’ll be glad you did.