5 Tips For Attending A Women's Conference
Summer time is conference time. Congratulations! You invested time and money in your number one asset – you! For women entrepreneurs, business conferences are a chance to develop friendships, learn, grow and have a blast while leaving the kids, laundry and dishes at home. We get a few days away to clear our heads and not only feel, but dress, like a full-time lady CEO. The biz mojo that sometimes gets lost in the fog of summertime play and laziness comes back, and we return energized and ready to conquer the world.
Here are 5 tips to make the most of your conference experience:
1. Build your business before you pack. Have you ever heard the saying, use it or lose it? Make the most of your investment by having 4 weeks of biz appointments and events set up when you return. Your motivation, energy and know-how will be at its peak in the first 4 weeks after the conference and will build momentum for the rest of the year…if you use it.
2. Use social media to make valued connections before you leave. Find out who the movers and shakers are on the attendance list and reach out ahead of time to introduce yourself via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Invite people you want to connect with to meet for coffee, or a cocktail, to brainstorm ideas. Follow the hotel and keynote speakers on Twitter and download city apps to stay in the know. Use the event hashtag to get the party started.
3. The Best Tips Are In The Ladies Room. Be mindful that everywhere you go, even lounging at the hotel pool or waiting in line in the bathroom, there is an opportunity to make a connection that can lead to a new idea, or customer. Bring biz cards, catalogs and a few product samples. Thanks to smart phones and iPads, you can take your business with you everywhere you go. Turn the always-predictable long line in the ladies room into an opportunity to learn something new. Ask your “line mates” for a specific biz tip (How do you get more ____), then jot it down on the notes section (include the contact information of your new friend) of your iPhone. Return the favor with a follow-up thank you and let the person know how their idea impacted your business. You’ll inspire each other to do more.
4. Leave the mommy-look at home. My Mom always told me, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. As an entrepreneur, you are the boss, and the brand. Thanks to discount stores like TJ Maxx, you can look like a CEO at a conference without breaking the bank, especially if your wardrobe is more casual when you are at home in mommy mode. Stand out in the crowd with solid sheath dresses in bold colors like yellow, blue or purple and/or pencil skirts with a bright top. Both styles look good on women of all shapes and sizes. Bring a sweater in case the conference rooms are cold, an umbrella in case it rains, ballet flats for city walking and some costume jewelry to bling out your style. And, don’t forget a bathing suit for the pool. Jeans and sneakers can stay home with the kids.
5. Be prepared for a not-so-perfect home when you return. Every year I’d fly home from a conference with new goals and dreams ready to achieve, and every year I’d walk in the door and be greeted with drama. The house wasn’t cleaned. Instructions weren’t followed. Plants were dead. My mojo went from a 10 to a 1 in about five minutes. I’ve learned that, that’s life. Men parent differently and are not going to do the same job you would. Hey, at least the kids had fun doing all the things you would never let them do. Celebrate that and move on. Stressing over the little things will only compound your frustration and derail your dreams. Take time on the plane, before you’re hit with reality, to make a to-do list of 3 action steps you can start on right away that will support your goals. Then wake up the next morning and get started!
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. www.milliondollarpartygirl.com @LynnBardowski