Events are expensive to attend – event fees, travel, hotel rooms and sustenance all mount up. When you add in the value of the time at the event the total investment is substantial. Of course, it is an investment in you, your business and your future, but only if you focus on making the event really valuable for you.
Masters are people who have stepped beyond their expertise. They are not just experienced, skilled, and knowledgable; they also stand out for the insights they bring. I have seen how, when they know the value of being truly intentional, they benefit far more from the events they attend than others do.
In late September 2022 I will be travelling to Dublin to attend a gathering of professional speakers which only happens every couple of years. It brings together some exceptional speakers, along with members of speaking associations from across the world.
The Global Speaker’s Summit
There will be around 200 people attending the Global Speaker’s Summit, plus audio visual teams, venue support, food and beverage staff and others, all adding to the buzz. I know that some of the speakers will be people who are at the top of their game, “masters” of their art.
The question I’m working with in my own planning for this event is “How will I get the most from the time I will be in Dublin?” Being intentional when I am there is important if that investment is to create a return that I’ll look back on with satisfaction.
When I wrote my book, “Intentional Mastery” I considered both words in the title to be as important as each other. It’s why I’m being intentional about my time at the Summit (and every event I attend). I’m making that investment in personal development to further my own journey towards mastery of my topic, of my speaking, and seeking to build better business. What I learn, the people I meet, and the insights I gain will take me further on that journey.
- What’s on the schedule?
Fortunately this event has a detailed schedule of speakers (see here). It also details networking time, celebratory dinners, comedy nights and other less formal “fringe” events that run along side the main conference. The schedule is published on the website for the event. That means before I arrive I can map out my own personal schedule for the event. For example, which speakers will I put on the ‘must attend’ list? That puts some shape onto my days at the event.
- Who do I want to meet?
Whilst I can’t know exactly who will be there, I’ve been speaking to people I know who might attend and building an awareness of who I do know who will be there. I’ve already arranged some ‘in the margin’ conversations with people. Serendipity will put us together for those conversations. If there are people who are due to speak at the event and with whom I want to build a stronger relationship, I’ll drop them a note ahead of time to let them know I am looking forward to hearing them. LinkedIn is good for that.
I’m also leaving space for new connections to be made, by chance, or by referral from others.
- What value can I bring?
I’m being intentional about the value that I can bring to others. As a Mentor, I’m keen to support small business owners build better business. I’ll share the insights I have from running my own small business for nearly 20 years, and I’ll have copies of my book for those who want to dig deeper. When a conversation helps me to identify a good referral, especially of someone I know to be there, I’ll facilitate that introduction.
- When can I take some time out?
I’m realistic about my own energy too. Being in a Summit room all day for the duration of the event is too much. There are some sessions I will deliberately miss and take a walk or grab a few minutes conversation with a friend instead.
I’m delighted to be running one of those less formal fringe session at this conference (on Saturday morning, if you happen to be there), taking those who wish to step together for a walk near the venue. At most events I find time to spend some time walking with others. That is something I do regularly in my business too, and I’ve always found that the conversations during a walk are some of the most memorable and insightful that I have.
- How will I keeping track?
To make sure that nothing is missed, I’ll take written notes. I love to take time to listen to information others are sharing, yet, when there is an insight, or a new connection, or someone to whom I have made a commitment, I’ve found it vital to take a note. It’s not that my memory is poor, but I know that in a big multi-day event it’s too easy to miss an important point. I use a variety of tools to help me keep track of different types of information – for example details about people are recorded in my CRM system, insights and knowledge in text or audio notes. Use what works for you now, not something new. (Oh, and remember your chargers and spare battery packs if you rely on tech.)
- What else will I consider?
I am a photographer. I take pictures because I love the way visual imagery can tell a story, and that’s the point here too. Using pictures as a visual record of what happened, what caught my eye, helps to embed the memories of event for me. I’m sure I’ll share a few photos on social media, and if we all do a little bit of that, at every event we attend, then there will be a lot of visual knowledge that we can all draw on for further inspiration.
If you want to be the master of your own future, have a plan for every event you attend. Be prepared, be intentional and events become fabulously enjoyable. Every event is better when you take the time to be truly prepared.
If you are coming to the Global Speaker’s Summit message me and let’s have a conversation, before, or while we are there.
Thank you for focusing my attention on my intention for the GSS conference. Great share. See you there!
I love these tips William and framing the event as an investment that you seek to create a return from. YOu mention about contacting people in advance and I am also mindful of the post event phase. I often come away from events with lists of great ideas or contacts to develop only to then be back into the day to day running of the business. So I have intentionally booked out some time post the event to take action on those ideas and to book in those virtual coffees to optimise that return