Over the last month and half I have attended six different PR conferences and have learned a lot, but more importantly I have met many new people and renewed business friendships with many others (read: expanded my professional and personal networks and engaged possible new clients and business partners for BurrellesLuce).
Unfortunately, to this reporter, it seems like most folks attending conferences just gladly come and go from session to session, not bothering to interact with their fellow attendees. Hard to believe as PR is all about public relating.
For all intents and purposes, meeting people face-to-face is the true benefit of attending conferences these days. In the past, there was no such thing as a conference call or a webinar. So by default, if you wanted to learn about a particular topic, a conference was the natural place to go. But now, in the Internet age, and with the premium put on time, you can do distance learning by phone and/or web. If you’re going to invest the time, effort, and money it takes to travel to and attend a conference, maximize your face time and be as Keith Ferrazzi would say, a “conference commando.”
What’s a conference commando? It’s somebody who attends a conference not only to learn, but to meet as many people, and the right people, who might be able to help them somewhere down the line. But successful commandos know it’s not all about them, you’ve got to give to get, as Ferrazzi counsels.
If you’re ready to be a Conference Commando, it’s easy and the benefits are many, follow this link to Keith Ferrazzi’s website for 15 tips on how you can become one.