Last week I had my first opportunity to meet some of my online friends at REBarCamp Los Angeles. In addition to the wonderful connections I made, I came away with some wonderful tips, reminders, and ideas.
A Few Simple Rules
- Don’t sit with the people you come with. If you came with them, you can likely swap stories any time. It’s the people you don’t normally interact with that will have the gems that you can take home with you. Leave the wallflower personality at home and show up ready to meet and connect with people you don’t already know.
- The ‘To Do Page’. Take great notes but make one page with the To Do’s you intend to implement. When you get home review the list, prioritize, and set some dates around accomplishing the new ideas you have. The biggest crime is to take pages of notes that overwhelm you and file them away into, ‘Important Info I Will Never See Again’.
- The ‘Resources” page. Keep a separate page where you can make a list of blogs, websites, and books to be read or looked into after the conference.
- The ‘Page of Gems’. This is the page that you can remind yourself of the lessons you can take away. For example, this week I sat in on a session led by Pedro Lopez with 1ParkPlace and was reminded of something I needed to hear: ‘Don’t ignore the people you know in an effort to reach people you don’t know.’ As a blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in that traffic and miss those right in front of you. Great reminder that I was able to take with me.
- Follow up with the people you meet – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, – gosh, even a personal note. This is the Social Media gold you will miss out on if you let it slip you by.
Don’t Waste Your Money, Time, and Effort
Even the ‘free’ conferences cost money – travel, hotels, time away from your business – so don’t waste it. Be there to learn, earn, connect. Be intentional about your efforts. See you at the next one!