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Don’t Attend A Conference Without These Rules

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!

Written By

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.



  1. Ricardo Bueno

    April 7, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I’m so diggin’ how organized you are! I love the idea of having a “To Do” page because truth-be-told…once the conference is over, the feeling is so “information over-load” that you don’t know where to begin. But assigning those to do’s early on gives you something to act on once all is said and done.

    Thanks again for coming out to REBCLA Linsey! Glad you had a great time…

  2. Mark Eibner

    April 7, 2009 at 6:16 am

    we’re at it again Don’t Attend A Conference Without These Rules: Get out of your feed rea..

  3. Ricardo Bueno

    April 7, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Reading: “Don’t Attend A Conference w/out These Rules” a really good post w/some excellent tips to follow!

  4. sheilabragg

    April 7, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Don’t Attend A Conference Without These Rules: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PR..

  5. Joe Loomer

    April 7, 2009 at 4:38 am


    Great article – you’ve made me break out and categorize my notes from the Keller Williams Family Reunion in February – many things in there I intended to do but forgot about! The follow up works wonders, since the KW convention, I’ve received an inbound referral and sent two outbounds thanks to LinkedIn.

  6. Real Estate Feeds

    April 7, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Don’t Attend A Conference Without These Rules: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PR..

  7. Lisa Heindel

    April 7, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Timely advice! I’m going to barcamp PHX in a couple of weeks and these are great ideas to be sure I get the most out of it and remember all of the details later.

  8. Joshua Dorkin @ BiggerPockets

    April 7, 2009 at 8:10 am

    The Follow-up is where most people fail. It is amazing how, despite meeting folks and doing the business card exchange, most will never contact you. Following up is really what separates the men from the boys. With tools like Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, it is so easy to do, and you don’t even have to make a phone call.

    Great post.

  9. Linsey Planeta

    April 7, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Ricardo – Don’t be fooled; I’m not always so organized. I just learned after attending a few events that it’s just too easy to come back to my office and file away my notes, never to be seen again. This is what saves me.

    Lisa – I’ll be there. Look forward to meeting you!

    Joshua – I will admit, only recently have I added this. I noticed how many people made the effort to reach out to me last week after the event and it was a ‘duh’ moment for me. 🙂

  10. teresa boardman

    April 7, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Conferences are often difficult for me. I have people talking to me an always go away regretting not having spent more time with the people I would have liked to meet. Sometimes I meet people briefly and forget who they are and then feel bad when we are introduced at another conference several months later and I honestly have no memory of meeting them. They must think I am anti social which I am but people are so important to me.

  11. Ken Brand

    April 8, 2009 at 8:14 am

    My nature is to float around like the wind…but as you’ve shared, at least for me, note taking is a wise idea for capturing the gems. When I don’t forget, I walk around with a moleskin notebook and jot things down. I have a pretty nice colletion of other peoples bright ideas all in one place.

  12. Brendan @

    April 8, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Linsey,

    Thank you for your advice. I just booked a hotel for RE Bar Camp SF. This will be my first real estate conference and I will be using all your rules as a general guideline. Do you find it easier to take note on a laptop during these conferences or should I go old-fashion with just a pad and pen.


  13. Linsey

    April 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Teresa – I love to connect with people but admittedly terrible with names. You can’t connect with and remember everyone. 🙂

    Ken – Sometimes it what can be gathered from the social interaction is as meaningful or more than any number of notes you can take.

    Brendan – As you heard from Ken and Teresa, the social side of these conferences is big. I love my laptop and could easily spend the entire conference buried in it and foolishly even following the very conference I’m attending – online. Not good. Take notes the old fashioned way. You can stick you head behind that computer again any ole time.

  14. Bill Lublin

    April 15, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Linsey – It was a pleasure meeting you at ReBarCamp LA – and getting the photos to prove it!Were you not making notes when we spoke because I didn’t say anything memorable? Or perhaps I was just too dazzling? We can correct that next week in Phoenix – Bring the notebook and I’ll do my best to say something memorable

    Teresa; No one would ever think you were anti-social – but when you’re a Rockstar, sometimes you forget the mass of people that throng around you 🙂

  15. Linsey

    April 15, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I know, I know – this time I will try to recover from my awe and really take it all in when you’re around. 😀

    Look forward to seeing you again Bill!

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