Event Prep: Getting Ready for a Live, Hybrid, or Virtual Conference (Debra Eckerling)

Debra Eckerling

You’ve cleared your calendar. You’ve packed your bags. You’re all set to go to an industry conference.

But are you ready digitally?

Whether you’re attending a live conference or a hybrid or virtual one, here are five things you need to do to prep before that opening keynote.

1. Refresh Your Website

Whenever you meet someone new, you search for them online, right?

It’s okay. We all do it. They search for you, too.

Be sure your website is updated, accessible, and user-friendly. This includes refreshing your bio, making sure your headshot still looks like you, and having an easy-to-find contact page with your email and social media links (or Linktr.re that has this information).

Bonus: Embed a newsletter signup, complete with auto-responder, so those who meet you can seamlessly opt-in to your list.

2. Give your Social Media a Once-Over

Just like you did with your website, check on your socials.

Review your social media profiles for consistency (your banner images need to either be the same or have complementary branding) and accuracy (again, bio, headshot, and links need to be up-to-date). You want to be as identifiable online as you are in real life. Showcase your value (what you do and how you help), along with your personality, so the people who meet you want to engage, connect, and develop relationships with you.

Bonus: While you want to highlight yourself and your business on all of your online assets, pay special attention to your LinkedIn profile. That’s the way most new contacts will connect with you and vice versa. Which leads to…

3. Draft LinkedIn Connection Requests

At any event, you will likely meet a bunch of new connections in rapid fashion.

When you encounter someone new–whether it’s an expert or resource, potential client, partner, or friend–the process that follows goes something like this: Google person or company; follow or subscribe to their social media accounts; retweet, reply, repost, comment, etc. Then, connect on LinkedIn.

When you meet someone at an event, you can still do all that digital “research,” but you may want to connect on LinkedIn right away.

When you make a LinkedIn connection request, always include a note about where, when, or how you met. This helps them remember you and vice-versa. Save time by writing out templates to use for your LinkedIn outreach.

For instance:

  • Great meeting you at the ________ session/mixer/in line at the coffee kiosk. Let’s connect.

  • I saw you speak on _______ at __________. Would love to connect.

Bonus: For virtual events, also keep a draft or your best contact info and links on a notepad to easily paste into chat.

You may attend a conference to learn new things and advance your career. Just remember: That education goes beyond sessions and keynotes.

Relationship development is a huge aspect of attending events. Being prepared saves you time, while enabling you to put your best foot forward!

How do you prepare for a conference? Please share in the comments. It may be used for a future post.

Debra Eckerling @deckerling
Goal-setting strategist Debra Eckerling is author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and creator of the D * E * B METHODⓇ system of goal-setting simplified. A consultant and workshop leader, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team-building for executives, entrepreneurs, consultants, and companies. Debra is the host of the #GoalChat Twitter chat, #GoalChatLive show, and The DEB Show podcast. Connect with Debra on LinkedIn.

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These are great tips for getting ready for a conference. Bumping this up for all the #SMMW23 attendees!

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Thanks, Deb!