With the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo quickly approaching Aug. 13-16, we wanted to share more advice from conference goers to help you capitalize on your experience. This month’s guest blog post is from Tom Morrison, CEO of MTI Management.
Do you have tips to share? Contact Kristen Parker at Kristen@eventgarde.com.
Like many people, when I attended my first ASAE conference in 2006, I was overwhelmed and distracted by how the massive number of people, sessions and booths. And so I ran around like a kid in a playground.
However, it wasn’t the best use of my time and I wasn’t able to maximize my experience to absorb the key ideas that could transform my association’s future.
So I developed a process I now use for every conference, including ASAE. It goes as follows:
1) Prior to arriving at the conference, determine the two biggest issues for which you need to find an idea or a solution. This allows you to know what you are looking for.
2) Determine the obstacles potentially coming your way that could have a negative impact on your members.
3) Make a list of the types of people you would like to meet and carry enough business cards to meet them.
4) Study the sessions and events and use the ASAE Conference App to build a schedule that keeps you on track. But be flexible and don’t be afraid to jump into a session with someone you meet.
5) Day one of EXPO: Start in row one and walk every aisle, seeing everything in the trade show. Make notes of booths to come visit in more detail on day two.
6) Day two of EXPO: Visit all booths you wrote down on day one to get more details or demos on products.
6) MOST IMPORTANT: At the conference each day, write down three things:
- One new idea or a new way of doing something you already do.
- Something you will do differently on the Monday you return.
- Someone you met who can help you with an idea.
I’ve used this plan of attack for 10 years now and it has contributed to our association growing more than 1,000 percent in net worth and has increased my professional network the same.