Thursday, November 5, 2015

:: 3 things to know Before attending a Conference:: #LATISM15

                               ::Momma Disclosure:: This is a compensated post. All statements are my true and honest opinion. 

                                                All pictures taken by:  Andy Ramirez

Last week, as you all may know, I attended LATISM. It's one of many conferences I have been to. You would think that I know what I am doing, right? Well, as I left DC Friday night the shoulda, coulda, woulda was starting to settle in. Thinking about the many more connections I could have made and how much more I should have prepared for the conference. Immediately made mental notes as to what I should do differently next time. Because, there are always other opportunities to make good connections. Here are ::three:: things I think are important to know, before you attend your next networking event or conference.

1) Review the agenda 

One thing I like to do is review the agenda before the event. It will give you information about times, location and what will be discussed. The amount of information can be overwhelming, but being prepared helps ease the stress. I try to remain on a single track and attended the sessions I know  will be interesting to me. But,  I also like to attended sessions a bit out of my scope and learn something new. Before you attend your next event, review the agenda. Know the times and where your sessions are located so you can plan accordingly and select topics not only that you know but those you can learn something new from.

2) Make a list of companies, brands or contacts you want to connect with at the event

Most events have group pages on Facebook where they disseminate information or list their sponsors on their websites. It is smart to review the list carefully. Know who you want to connect with and more importantly make sure that the brand fits your blog. I understand wanting to connect with big companies and brand names but at the the end of the day, if it doesn't fit your blog, the partnership really won't last. I was able to connect with a couple of personal blog contacts, I have followed certain blogs for years and wanted to meet some of the ladies behind those blogs. I did also make great new connections with brands who want to work with Latina's in Houston. Having a defined brand and knowing what you are seeking long-term is very important. Some brands knew me because of my time in the business. And, I connected with others because I knew exactly what I wanted to say to them. Being prepared is important, in all instances.

3) Relax and Enjoy

Being unprepared causes for a lot of missed time and running around. Which is why being organized and knowledgeable before the event is important. And, at the end of the day, yes, you gain valuable lessons, important contacts and great new partnerships. But, if you didn't have fun and enjoy your time, it becomes point less. You don't want to be burned out during an event or conference the frustration can show and you can miss a good opportunity to interact with others. If you want to have a good productive time at a conference you need balance. Know what you want to achieve and who you want to connect with but also have fun and relax. The real you is more authentic when you are having fun.

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