It’s the most wonderful time of the year here at APM. That’s right, it’s Summit Season! APM’s Spring Sales Summits will take place in five different cities, but before you hop on that plane or in that car, you want to make sure your game plan is rock solid. After all, you only have one opportunity to maximize the value of this critical learning experience.
Let’s begin with pre-con(ference) recon.
- What do I want to get out of this event?
- Where am I struggling lately?
- What topics am I most hoping they discuss?
- Where do my uncertainties lie in terms of the future of this industry?
- What trends am I curious to hear more about?
- Who do I want to introduce myself to?
- Whose brain would I love to pick?
Map out a plan:
- Write down your top three to five topics and actively seek out conversations that discuss them.
- Come prepared with questions – and identify beforehand who might be able to answer them.
- Reach out to colleagues and those you wish to meet prior to the Summit. Try to schedule some one-on-one time, if possible. Remember, schedules fill up, so send these invites ASAP.
- Research any additional networking events, meals or activities with key players that can supplement the Summit. Make sure you’re where the action is.
- Come armed with all the materials you need for a productive day. This includes any provided supplemental materials, your complete schedule, a fully charged cell phone, portable charger, notepad or notepad app, ample business cards and at least two pens.
- If possible, walk the event space ahead of time so you know where you’re going before the morning chaos kicks off. This includes picking up your badge and any materials well ahead of the conference start time.
- Take a little time to read up on the latest industry headlines so you’re armed with current shoptalk. There’s nothing worse than joining a conversation and having someone ask you “what did you think about the latest MBA report?” as you stare blankly back at them.
- Create goals like personally meet two top producers, identify two routine tasks to do to increase production, and initiate three conversations with colleagues you haven’t met yet – and follow through.
- Summarize what you learned, any lightbulb ideas you might have had and any further matters you want to follow up on immediately. This is ideally done as soon as you’re back at your hotel or in a taxi on the way to the airport.
- Send follow-up emails to new colleagues, and do your best to solidify those lunch meetings, conference calls, tennis matches, etc.
Most of all, remember that the Summit – or any conference or networking event – is really just the beginning. It’s what you do with this time, knowledge, advice and new connections that really matters. So remain actionable from start to finish. Continually ask yourself, “what do I do with this information or contact?” then hit the ground running.
And if you see me at one of these Summits, by all means, come say hello! I’m here to answer questions and provide support in any way. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, don’t forget to register for the Summit(s) by clicking here.