Part 2 Follow Up on our earlier video
As you’re well aware, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) is holding its Annual Meeting & Expo in San Antonio, Texas October 15-17th. What may be less apparent is how to best utilize the occasion so you get the most out of the convention — without wasting time or burning the proverbial candle at both ends.
Below are 5 tips for maximizing your convention experience:
1. Set goals. You wouldn’t pack your bag without considering what attire you’ll need for the convention (you’d look a bit out of place in beachwear if everyone else is in business suits — extreme, but you get the point), yet many people put more thought into their appearance than into what they want to accomplish by attending. Well before you leave for San Antonio, give some focused deliberation to your purpose in participating. For instance, do your principal goals include:
a. Problem solving?
b. Business building?
c. Connecting with specific individuals?
d. Attending certain sessions?
Once you have a game plan for the convention, you’re ready to…
2. Schedule networking time. Conferences and conventions are like a networking marathon. You can meet endlessly around breakfast, lunch, coffee, in the exposition hall — and head home with a wealth of business cards yet few meaningful connections. Instead, with your attendance goals in mind, schedule time to network with the specific people you most want to meet. Remember, too, that networking works both ways: if you connect those you meet with people you know who can further their own goals, it’s a win for everyone.
3. Practice self-care. Client care is the foundation stone of coaching, and it applies across the board. Take good care of yourself while traveling and participating at the convention! Get adequate sleep, rest during the day if you need to, and observe social mores, especially when it comes to food and alcohol. You never know whether your future employer or a major referral resource is in the room.
4. Never eat alone. Master networker Keith Ferrazzi published a book by this title for a reason: if you’re going to a convention, why waste opportunity? While there’s no need to nosh if you feel like skipping a meal (see points 1, 2, and 3, above), when you do sit down to eat, use the time beneficially, beyond the needs of your stomach.
5. Prepare! You’re not attending solely for self-promotion, yet you want to be ready to meet a technology provider whose mortgage origination software is the answer to your business prayers, or the new director of senior services for your county. So don’t leave home without your business cards, company brochures, notebook, pens, laptop, smart phone, and whatever else you might need when meeting potential new business partners.
Now you’re set for a fabulous time in San Antonio!