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Surviving an Appointment-Based Event Alone

“Even high achieving, apparently extrovert people find it difficult to get into the habit of initiating face-to-face encounters, often using time poverty as an avoidant excuse.”


The thought of attending a conference alone can be daunting. When you add up the pressure of making introductions, hearing pitches, walking through thousands of busy booths and collecting business cards, these events can be exhausting. The need to network is a vital part of business though, yet one in four professionals say they do not network at all, even worse 40 percent of professionals say they would like to network more often, but just don’t have the time. Attending an appointment-based event is the perfect solution to concisely meeting with relevant providers, concentrating up to 30-meetings in just a-day-and-a-half – better yet, there’s no hard sell and no awkward introductions.

Attending an appointment-based event by yourself is simple. Unlike a typical trade show, you are given a pre-arranged itinerary of meetings. Everyone has a reason to be at the event and to meet with you, making all of your appointments relevant and meaningful. Here are some tips to survive attending an appointment-based event alone

1. Be honest when completing your profile

The most crucial step to organizing a Forum is the matching process. In order to ensure everyone has a productive event, the matching process takes into account any upcoming projects or needed-services. This information is used to connect you with solution providers who can actually assist you in meeting your company’s goals. An honest profile means more beneficial meetings and better expert advice.

2. Manners Cost Nothing

At an appointment-based event, you don’t have to worry about the anxiety that surrounds making an introduction. Everyone has a place to be at a Forum, and so each person’s time is valuable – it’s as simple as meeting with someone in your scheduled time and having a conversation. Remember to be polite and courteous, have a real conversation and make a valuable connection.

3. Be Open When Meeting Your Peers

Part of the fun with appointment-based events is the networking activities that separate the full days of meetings. During the networking breakfasts, lunches, the Gala dinner and casino evening, you will casually meet peers from your industry. Be open to hearing about their company and their suggestions. Every piece of knowledge is up for grabs at an appointment-based event and a connection could turn into an opportunity down the road.

4. Navigate the Room

Throughout the two days, you will meet hundreds of attendees. To make the most of an appointment-based event, challenge yourself by separating from your typical group and meet with new professionals. A good example is sitting at a dinner table where you know no one and initiating a conversation, or adding to a topic at a seminar. Be friendly, be open and be approachable.

5. The Staff are Your Best Friends

Every member of the Forum Events team is dedicated to making the attendees feel at home. If you ever feel you are out of your comfort zone, or want to make a connection that you are not scheduled for – don’t hesitate to let a staff member know. Throughout the networking activities, staff will be seated and mingling also, so if you have any questions – be sure to ask.

By scheduling up to 30 appointments over a-day-and-a-half, we eliminate the adversity to time excuse for not networking. The concentrated appointment-based strategy for connecting professionals provides opportunity for expanded knowledge, new business and potential career advancement, all in an intimate and informal setting, perfect for a lone ranger to attend.


7 Tips for Appointment-Based Networking


Appointment-based events challenge a traditional trade show in the sense that your presence matters. While sitting across from a potential client or solution provider, your interactions are vital to build a working relationship that will benefit you both. Event organizers work diligently to make meaningful introductions with the potential to build future business relations – we make the connection, the rest is up to you. Here are just a few tips to make your networking at these events a success:

1. Attend Your Meetings!

You wouldn't sign up for speed dating, and then stand up your date, so attend your business meetings as though your love life depends on it. Standing up a potential client or solution provider is not only rude, but it’s also a bad representation of your company. At an appointment-based event, you are meeting face-to-face with elite business professionals – a quality meeting like this is rare and deserves attention.

2. Ditch the Sales Pitch

Appointment-based events are a ‘no-hard sell’ zone. Networking at these events is primarily about building relationships rather than immediate sales. People do business with people they like – get to know the person you could potentially work with and their company, then pursue a working relationship.

3. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is key when meeting new people, especially in a business setting where you are learning about their company. The more you ask, the clearer vision you will have, and even more importantly – the better conversation you will have! The more you learn, the better advice and solutions you can give and as Joshua Krane, the CEO at Ciplex says, “If someone likes them [your ideas], chances are they will hire you to execute them.”

4. Listen!

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Listening on both sides of the table is effective in identifying needs and finding solutions. As Megan Duckett of Sew What, Inc.? said, “Not every communication is an opportunity to blow your own business trumpet. Sometimes you may find yourself sharing information about another company or service that you have heard of.” Listen, learn and find solutions.

5. Relax & Enjoy the Experience

An appointment-based event is a less stressful environment. You are not overwhelmed by booths and numerous representatives, it is an intimate and luxurious experience designed so that business executives can have productive and quality meetings. These events are also jam-packed with other networking activities, all of which take place in a beautiful venue. Enjoy it – because a month down the line, when you reconnect with your new contacts, you will have a shared experience to build the foundation of a fruitful business relationship.

6. Smile!

The energy at these events is electric – a positive attitude and approachable demeanor is vital! Again, people do business with people they like – so be likable, polite and have meaningful meetings – whether you think there’s a business relationship to be had or not, a positive representation goes a long way!

7. Follow Up If You Say You Will

If you tell someone you’re going to email them, email them. If you say you’ll reach out to them via phone, call them. From beginning to end, leave a lasting impression – make your attendance work for you and follow up with your new business connections promptly. 

 


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