I’ve thought often about writing this article, and always shied away from being a bit controversial. (If you read my articles before either here or on www.mandieholgate.co.uk you will know I tend to be about empowering, sharing top tips to make life, business, success and confidence just that be easier.) However I felt that I’d seen this happening too many times not to say something.
And the reason I say something now is because I can’t believe something that I thought was a given, an obvious expected standard, just doesn’t always exist, and not only is it not particularly pleasant to work in that environment, if you are doing this, then you could be damaging your success too! (So this article does come back to what I normally write about after all!)
The more I get asked to speak at events the more I naturally end up attending a variety of events aimed at personal and professional development and business success. And whether I’m attending a local business show a national one or a special all day event it really shocks me how many people that just don’t turn up!
What’s the big deal you say? It’s a free event, there’s no cost, so?
The big deal is that I personally think it impacts on your professional brand and what people think of you.
Think about it. You posted all over social media you were attending. You said you will be there. And then something came up, right? No big deal. But although there’s 500 – 2000 people at that event and you figure no one will miss you right?
They will, because there in reception when we all arrive is your lanyard with your name and business on, and then at the end of the day its still there!
Sorry did something better come up than what you thought was going to be an awesome day?
A client maybe?
I have a real issue with this, because firstly it shows a high level of disrespect to the organisers. It may seem like just a lanyard to you, but it’s not for the organisers. An organiser of an event need to ensure for every name that turns up there is adequate parking, adequate refreshments, adequate seating, someone has to take the time to print off and make your lanyard. As the numbers for the event increases the organisers think “wowsers we’ve got xxxx people booked for this, we should slow down on marketing, we may have to turn people away, our maximum capacity for safety is xxxx” So you greatly impact on the organisers.
Secondly if you’ve posted you are attending and don’t show, what does that say to those that do turn up? Is it a bad event we shouldn’t be at? Have we wasted our time? It can create unease in the delegates (I do not jest! I’ve seen it across social media damaging the reputation of events for years to come!)
More worryingly those that do turn up know who hasn’t arrived and think “Do they ever turn up to what they say they will?” What does that say about you, your professionalism and your business?
Can someone be trusted if they can’t even turn up to what they say they are going to?
Can they not organise their time to be able to have a day out of the office?
If you don’t know if you will be too pressurised to attend then don’t fill in the form saying you are going. Leave your status as interested.
And if you worry about giving up a day to this event top tips here are our top tips to get the most out of your day and double the usages of your time;
Tell everyone you are attending. This is good for the organiser (you are promoting their event. This may seem like its non beneficial to you, however getting yourself known for all the right reasons is a good way to get remembered. And remember in business its about the quality of relationships you build). By telling everyone you are attending before you even arrive you are getting to digitally network with potential customers and opportunities. It’s a great way to create brand awareness with very little effort.
Organise meetings and 1 2 1’s at the event. We all appreciate the need to know other people, and build good relationships however ultimately sorry to get tough here, those meetings quite from day one don’t always deliver business, and if you are very busy it can be very enticing to not bother with them. If you have been building rapport and getting to know people online, a big event is a great opportunity to spare half an hour and extend that potential opportunity. (And word of caution here, that’s build opportunity for them too, not just you!)
Talk about the event in the run up to the event. This is a great way to get you and your business known before you even walk through the door. There will be companies that can’t make the day, however if you have talked about the event in your own marketing, at events you are attending and to your current customers then you are helping to raise awareness of the calibre of events you attend and how your business is operated. People like professionalism. And to feel that they can trust and know the businesses that they work with. This helps.
Power up your PR! When it comes to trade press and relevant publications to your business, talking about the events you are involved with can be a great way to get your business seen for the right reasons, and raise your name above your competitors. Just remember if your attendtion is to send in a press release saying “SL Products attended this expo” the journalist is likely to say “big deal!” on the other hand if you are saying that your company was awarded the only trade stand for your industry at a UK wide event with over 200 exhibitors for the third year running. That says something about your company doesn’t it?
Don’t create a headache afterwards. One of the reasons people don’t turn up to events I feel is because they worry about the follow up and additional work load that it can create afterwards. Firstly reframe the way you word this. Instead of saying “I’m going to need at least 4 hours to process that event to get maximum benefit from that day and justify the costs.” Reframe this to; “In one day I will be able to generate enough leads to grow our business as planned this quarter, which could substantially reduce my marketing requirements this month and thus further increase our sales this year.” Your mind will happily create belief in what you say. So if you assume it’s going to be hard work, increase your work load and be a hassle enducing process, get what you are going to get? On the day ensure you are getting potential time wasters (you know the types, I call them Likers. They like everything you do, but are never going to follow up, get involved, support you or buy from you. They just take everyone’s freebies and tell everyone about their business and clear off!) So get the time wasters to do the work, ie “That sounds interesting, if you email/phone me next week when I’m back in the office we can investigate that in more detail.” It’s a great way of finding out who is there to do business and who is there to restock their stationery cupboard.
If a conversation is going really well, don’t leave it to the following day (when let’s be honest you are still exhausted from the show!) to get in touch, get it sorted there and then. Have your diary it and show your intent. “That’s great, lets Skype and move this along”. If you want something don’t hang about. There are so many opportunities and so many people talking at an event, you can find that in 2 days time your conversation is getting lost in their minds to a bucket load of work. Don’t let that happen by sorting things on the day.
Create a structure to how you process events. By doing this, you can learn the science of what works for you. Trial different things, until you find a style that works for you. Time how long it takes to process it. This is a great way for you Procrastinators to see an end to the job. Procrastinators stop procrastinating when they can see it’s not as hard, scary or boring as they thought it was going to be. So think about the results you want and how fast you can process it!
I hope you have found this a useful addition to your learning over here on the Insiders and if you have comments and ideas to share, please do! You know the Insiders is awesome because of you, your views, ideas and support for each others success. Awesome isn’t it?