Looking for Something?
Posts Tagged for

attendee tips

How to Get the Most out of New Media Expo

Author:

antonio centeno

Editor’s note: Big THANK YOU to Antonio Centeno, one of our NMX 2014 speakers, for writing this guide to NMX based on his past experiences. Feel free to add your own tips with a comment below. Are you new to NMX? We’ll be having a New Attendee Orientation on Saturday for everyone who wants to learn more about getting the most out of NMX.

New Media Expo 2014 is only two weeks away.

Are you ready to get the most out of it?

If you’ve got a business that you’re hoping to promote or attract interest to while you’re at the New Media Expo, start the groundwork immediately. Don’t wait until the last minute — start you preparation now, so that by January you’re way ahead of the game.

1. Craft Your Elevator Pitch

Just what do you have to offer that other people at NMX will want to hear about?

Whatever it is, learn to say it in 30 seconds.  Yeah – you want to keep it short and to the point. Your “elevator pitch” is a quick summary to quickly determine if people are interested in hearing more or not.  It’s not your life story!

These are the pieces I include in mine:

  • Name
  • A statement  of a problem that the person you’re meeting will agree with and clearly understand
  • How you solve that problem

My Example:

Hi, I’m Antonio.  You know how most men have no clue when it comes to dressing sharp?

Most people at this point agree – in fact they often state they have this problem themselves or their husband/brother/boyfriend does.

Well, I help men dress better by creating practical videos and articles that show them why style matters.  I use Science and my background as a former US Marine to show men how a strong personal presentation can help them achieve more both professionally and personally.

This type of pitch is VERY effective because it involves the person you just spoke with and therefore is much more memorable.  They may not need my services – but they’ll remember me and that makes me very referable.

Don’t try to improvise; practice your pitch ahead of time and then write it down.  Rehearse it and make small improvements here or there depending on people’s reactions and what naturally feels right to you during delivery.

Remember that an active networker is going to meet upwards of fifty people each day at NMX. Develop a pitch that gives them something to remember you by. You want to look professional, practiced, and referable — someone who can’t help you personally may know someone else who’d be interested in hearing your pitch, if it’s a good, memorable pitch.

And yes, hand ’em your business card after you’ve properly introduced yourself and ALWAYS ask them about their business/reason for being there.

2. Dress Sharp

Most of the businesses represented at NMX are online businesses. The people behind them might only have one or two face-to-face meetings with their customers every year.

That means that you’ve only got one or two opportunities to fix an image in people’s minds that goes with your brand name.

Don’t believe the line that the tech industry doesn’t care about appearances. Entrepreneurs may not care if you wear a tie or not, but how we dress matters.  This is especially true when we’re meeting people for the first time – we’re human beings, and we take mental shortcuts and classify others based off how they appear.

For men – dark jeans and a classic sports jacket work well; so do light gray slacks and a blazer if you want to look a little more conservative.   At the very least wear a crisply ironed dress shirt with grey/navy/khaki slacks and dress shoes.

For the ladies – dress in a manner that befits the message you’re looking to send.  Are you and up and coming professional looking to raise awareness of your social media firm?  Keep the jewelry and accessories to a minimum but spice up the black suit with a pair of fun shoes.  Skirts are perfect for Vegas, but bring two pairs of leggings (just in case) and if you’re wearing heels consider a change of flats for the second part of the day (you’ll be walking a lot).

Take the time to think about the image you want to project — and to find the clothes that do it.

3. Use a Packing List

Don’t rely on memory the night before the Expo. Pack from a list, not from your head.

It only takes one small slip-up to sabotage yourself. Forgetting your business cards or the power cord for your phone or laptop can result in, at best, an added delay and inconvenience while you run around Las Vegas searching for a replacement — and at worst, could result in you meeting less people, or leaving a worse impression with the people you do meet.

Create a list for yourself that includes everything you’re going to need:

  • clothing for the full three days — plan specific outfits and pack them!
  • electronics — your phone, your laptop, and all the peripherals
  • analog networking tools — business cards, pens, and a small notebook
  • travel supplies — snacks, a book, whatever

Make a list for yourself. Don’t rely on someone else’s pre-printed checklist (their needs might not be the same as yours), and don’t try to pack without a list. Jet pilots and astronauts use long, detailed checklists for a reason — and so should you.

4. Research Other Guests

Is there someone at NMX that you specifically want to talk to?

Check the schedule ahead of time to see who you’re interested in. Then spend time browsing their websites, checking them out on Twitter and Facebook, and so on, learning how they like to do business and interact with fans or customers.

If you’re hoping to approach a speaker, remember that right after their speech or presentation is the worst possible time to do it. They’re going to be tired, and they’ll be swamped with 15 other people vying for their time.

A better tactic is to build a relationship ahead of time.   Comment on their posts.  Interact with them on Twitter or Facebook.  Build an online friendship – then mention you’ll be at NMX and leverage this warm online relationship into a real face-to-face one.

If you can’t get in touch with the person you’re interested in, see who they are talking to — it might be easier for you to connect with their inner circle.  Form real friendships, and they’ll help get you in touch at a later date.

5. Schedule and Prioritize

What are the most important things for you to get out of the conference?

There are probably two or three presentations that are really important to you, but most of the value lies in meetings and chat. Spend a little extra cash to get the presentation recordings if you’re really interested in them. Plan on spending the rest of your time meeting and greeting – this is the part of NMX that can’t be done except in Vegas!

Also, leave plenty of flex time for impromptu meetings and try to schedule some sit-downs with the people you’re most interested in. They’ll remember a planned meeting that they set time aside for more than an elevator pitch with a total stranger.

In conclusion – spending a few hours planning your NMX trip is going to have a very high return on investment.  You’re spending quite a bit of time and money to attend – get the most bang out of your buck by showing up prepared for success.

What NOT to do at BlogWorld (And One Big Fat Event Secret)

Author:

I’ve written often about what to do at BlogWorld – tips to help you prepare, tips to help you while you’re at the event…I’m about tipped out. Well, almost. BlogWorld LA is going to be here in less than two weeks, so I wanted to write one last post, this time featuring what not to do while attending. Oh, and head to the end because I have a big, fat conference secret that might just change the way you approach the entire event!

 

Tip #1: Don’t over-promise.

Thousands of really awesome people attend BlogWorld every year, and a-lister or not, a lot of them want to meet you (even if they don’t know it yet). Some of your friends might be speaking. People plan dinners and unofficial events. There are parties every night.

I know you want to do everything, but chances are pretty good that you won’t be able to get to all the cool stuff you want to attend. Don’t promise that you’ll be there, because when you miss it, you’ll disappoint (and maybe even anger) your friends and new acquaintances. The fact of the matter is that events overlap and sometimes you just need to refresh in your room for a few hours. Instead of promising that you’ll definitely be wherever someone wants you to be, tell them you’re going to do you best (and then actually do your best).

Tip #2: Don’t go to your friends’ sessions.

Deb might want to ring my neck for telling you to not go to sessions, but the point isn’t to skip them completely. Just attend the one that most fits your new media interests and needs in every time slot. With well over 200 speakers, you probably have some friends who are presenting sessions. That’s awesome. Go and support them – IF there are no other sessions that interest you at that time. You can always listen to their presentations via the virtual ticket after BlogWorld ends, but you only get one chance to actually network and ask questions in-person with the speaker presenting a topic that truly interests you. So choose how to spend your time wisely!

Tip #3: Don’t panic.

There’s a lot to do and see. You won’t do it all or see it all. It’s okay. Breathe. Focus on enjoying your time there, not on worrying that you aren’t making the most of your experience.

One of my fave pictures from BlogWorld 2010!

Tip #4: Don’t neglect Twitter.

A lot of people make jokes about people who are tweeting during the event when they could be hanging out with online friends face-to-face. While it is true that you should put your phone down to have dinner with a colleague or drinks with some readers of your blog, don’t turn it off completely. When you neglect Twitter, you miss out on the really cool stuff that pops up. Some of the coolest people I met last year were people I only met because I was watching the BlogWorld hashtag (it’s #BWELA for this upcoming event). I got to go to dinner with David Murray. I got to hang out in Darren Rowse’s suite. I got to sit up talking with Jordan Cooper until the wee hours of the morning. None of that would have happened if I wouldn’t have been using Twitter while at BlogWorld. This event is all about the people you’ll meet (like the wonderful group pictured at left), and they aren’t always listed in the program guide.

Tip #5: Don’t drink too much.

The opportunity is there. A lot of people do. If you want to party, go a day early or stay a day late. I have a heck of a good time in Vegas last year before BlogWorld started! But during the official event? Represent yourself well. BlogWorld should be fun, but this is also a professional event. No one wants to work with the guy who’s trashed and stumbling away from the party with a random hook-up on his arm and no one wants to be associated with the chick throwing up in the bathroom. Using “but my brand is edgy” isn’t an excuse. A lot of “edgy”-branded people go to BlogWorld parties and drink, but I’ve never seen Scott Stratten or Miss Destructo or anyone other a-lister get wasted when they should be networking.

Tip #6: Don’t give me your card until after our conversation.

At every BlogWorld, people seem to fall into three categories: those who have a stack of freshly-printed cards they’re actually holding in anticipation, those who have cards but rarely remember to give them out, and those who give cards when it makes sense. Be part of the last group. If we’ve barely met, I don’t want your card. Walking up to me and handing it out as you give your elevator pitch is not a good marketing plan. Talk to me. Get to know me. And then, if we connect and there’s a reason we might want to email one another in the future, give me a card before we part ways.

Tip #7: Don’t be a stalker.

One of the great things about BlogWorld is that tons of a-listers a attend and unlike many other events where they’re whisked away as soon as they’re done speaking, most actually stick around and talk to fans at BlogWorld. You’ll see many of them attending other sessions, perusing the expo floor, and hanging out at official parties, so there’s lots of time to say hello. Say it! They want to meet you (in my experiences). But don’t be a stalker. Just because you said hello to an a-lister (or anyone at BlogWorld for that matter), doesn’t mean that you’re now best friends. Give them some space. When you start popping up everywhere and monopolizing their time, it’s just…well…creepy and annoying.

Tip #8: Don’t forget to follow up.

As soon as you get home (or even back to the hotel room if you have time), follow up on the business cards you collected. Check out sites you promised to check out. Follow people on Twitter. Draft emails that you promised to send. Say thank you if someone helped you. If you let these tasks go, they’ll never get done. Two months later, you aren’t going to remember a lot of the people you met if you didn’t follow up with a relationship immediately after the event – and they certainly won’t remember you either.

Tip #9: Don’t forget to bring your camera.

And more importantly, don’t forget to use it! You may not see these people again until next year. And in reality, you may not see these people again EVER. Bring your camera to capture the fun moments. No one ever leaves and event thinking “man, I wish I wouldn’t have taken so many pictures” but all too often, we leave wishing we would have taken more.

And One Big, Fat Secret? Okay, are you ready for this. Here’s what I didn’t know coming into my first major event that has changed my outlook: Everybody is nervous about attending.

Seriously.

Last year, I let my nerves get the best of me on several occasions, and I thought I was totally alone. When I wrote about my experiences afterward, however, I found out that I wasn’t! Even people like Chris Garrett and Andy Hayes stopped by to comment about feeling similar at times. We all have insecurities. We all have “heroes” who we’re nervous to meet. We all get anxious when going to a party where we don’t know anyone else. We all worry about what other people thing. It’s human nature. Some of us are more anxious than others, but at BlogWorld, I’d say there are probably more introverts than extroverts. We spend all day blogging behind a computer screen. Meeting people in real life is scarey.

So don’t think you’re the only one who needs to retreat to the hotel for a few hours of alone time. Just don’t let fear paralyze you to the point where you stay there. We’re very nice people. I promise. 🙂

Seven Ways to Start Preparing for BlogWorld NOW

Author:

BlogWorld LA 2011 is happening in just a few months, and while it might be a bit too early to start packing (though I have started making a list…sad, I know!), that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing. Here are the top ten things you can do right now to get ready for what is shaping up to be our best show yet:

1. Participate in #BWEchat.

Every Wednesday at 9 PM EST, we hold #BWEchat on Twitter. Deb and Lara are the hosts (follow @blogworldexpo) and every week we also have special guest co-hosts including speakers, track leaders, and keynoters. #BWEchat features topics relating to conferences like how to save money when traveling to a conference (this week’s topic), as well as other topics related to content creation and  new media. Not only will you have the chance to learn something and voice your opinion, but #BWEchat is also a great way to meet others who will be attending the event. Some weeks, we even give away tickets!

2. Follow the #BWELA hashtag.

People are already starting to talk about the event. By following the #BWELA hashtag, you can connect with others who are attending and get the latest BlogWorld news first. If you have a question about the event, it also makes sense to tweet using this hashtag, so you can be sure that we see your tweet and are able to help you (if someone from the community hasn’t done so first). As we get closer to the event itself, you can also use the hashtag to find dinner partners, friends for sharing taxis, and more.

3. Choose your shoes and start wearing them now.

Ladies, this one is for you – pick out the heels (or even flats) that you want to wear at BlogWorld and start wearing them now. If you want to keep the “fresh new shoes” look, at least wear them around the house. Your feet will thank you.

4. Check out our speakers as they’re announced.

A number of speakers have already been announced, and if you follow conference director @DebNg, you can read announcements of new speakers as they’re made public. You’re likely going to recognize a lot of those names, but we also love to feature new and up-and-coming talent in the new media world, so there are likely going to be names you don’t recognize as well. Check out their blogs, follow them on Twitter, and read their bios so that when it comes time to make your schedule, you can make the best possible decisions.

5. Tell your readers that you’ll be attending BlogWorld.

Connecting with your readers in person can really help solidify them as fans. BlogWorld has tons of attendees, so unless you make plans to meet people (or at least watch out for one another), you might not cross paths. Don’t attend BlogWorld only to find out when you get home that some of your most loyal readers were also there and had no idea you attended as well. Announce your plans to attend on your blog and social media or at least put a badge on your sidebar.

6. Become an affiliate.

If you become a BlogWorld affiliate, you’ll have the chance to earn a little money by encouraging others to attend the event. Put this money toward your trip and you could attend for free!

7. Tell us on Facebook that you’re attending.

Head to Facebook and check in on our events page, telling us all the you’re coming! As with announcing it on your blog and talking about it on Twitter, liking our Facebook page and confirming that you’re attending is a great way to connect with your current readers/fans/friends, as well as meet new people.

As the even gets closer, there are certainly other things you can do to prepare. Yes, you can jump on a plane and wing it, but there’s so much going on during every moment of BlogWorld that the more planning you o before the event, the more you’ll get out of your time there.

Have you been to BlogWorld before? If so, share your best planning tip!

Ways to Save Money on Your BlogWorld Flight

Author:

Right now, I’m seeing an influx of people tweeting about buying their flights to BlogWorld (or saving up the money to do so). I don’t envy those of you flying in from Europe or anywhere else oversees. Las Vegas might be a city where you can get cheap flights, but yowsa, they are still expensive for someone on a budget.

I’m no expert, but I have done my fair share of traveling over the past decade. So, I’d like to share with you some tips for saving money on your flight. I hope you’ll add your own to the comments!

  • Fly on/out Tuesday on Wednesday.

Yes, this is travel 101, but it makes more sense now than ever before. When you fly mid-week, you’re taking flights that often have empty seats, so the airline is willing to drop the price a bit to entice passengers. Usually, it doesn’t make much difference for travelers, because what they make in flight price they lose in having to book a hotel for an extra night. At BlogWorld, you can’t really beat the special prices available to attendees, so even if you have to spend the money on the hotel room for the additional day, you’ll probably come out on top.

  • Fly super early in the morning.

The really early flights in the day are typically less expensive, but again, that’s a little Travel 101, right? Well, I’m recommending that you fly super early in the day for another reason – so you can stay behind if the flight is overbooked without missing anything in Vegas. This happens regularly at small airports and is even fairly common at large airports. You may have to spend your day at the airport, but most airlines will accommodate you with free food vouchers, and if you ask, they might even be able to hook you up with vouchers for free WiFi. Depending on how long you’re delayed, you’ll receive vouchers for anywhere from $50 to $400 or more that you can use for a future flight.

Pro tip: It’s up to the worker standing there to determine the offer amount, so be really, really friendly and flexible if you want a higher amount.

Pro tip #2: If you want some freebies, but don’t want to take a later flight, let other people offer first. If the flight is overbooked, listen for the worker at the gate to make a call for volunteers. He/she will probably do so a few times, but will stop doing so when it looks like they probably have enough people. When the announcements stop, go up and volunteer. They’ll put you on the list, even if they don’t need you, and when you go to board your flight, there’s a good chance that they’ll give you some free drink tickets. Of course, there’s always the chance that they could need you after all, so don’t use this trick to get free drinks if you aren’t ok with staying behind just in case!

  • Find others flying out of your airport now.

Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to connect with people flying out of your airport. Carpool or share a taxi and you’ll save money on parking. If you take some time to get to know one another, you can even save money on luggage if you have more stuff than will fit in a carry-on, but not enough to need an entire checked suitcase to yourself. If you each put your items inside a bag and then put the two (or even three) bags inside the suitcase, you can easily pull our your bag at the airport and go your separate ways. This definitely does require at least a low-level of trust for the other person, so meet up with people in your area now.

  • Buy split tickets.

Most people realize that it is typically cheaper to buy a flight with one or two layovers than it is to buy a direct flight. Did you know you could save even more money with a split ticket? Let’s say you’re traveling from Philadelphia to Vegas, with a layover in Chicago. When a system books your ticket, it typically looks for the flight in Chicago that leaves ASAP after you’ve landed, even though a later flight may actually be cheaper. So instead of booking it all together, look up prices for booking Philly to Chicago and separate prices for booking Chicago to Las Vegas. It doesn’t work every time, but it could for you, so it’s worth checking out. Remember to allow yourself enough time to get your second ticket at the layover airport, as this may require exiting and going through security again.

  • Connect with your airline through social networking.

If you follow your airline of choice on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or even sign up for their newsletter, you could receive significant discount codes that you can use on your flight. It only takes a second to click the “like” button, so why not?

  • Book during a window.

Flight prices will fluctuate in most cases. Traditionally, there are low point windows at the 21-day mark, 14-day mark, and 7-day mark. Of course, at seven days, the prices will be the lowest because they want the flight to fill, but you might not want to wait that long, since the flight you want could be booked solid by then and you’ll pay out the nose to get to your destination. I recommend booking around the 21-day mark if you haven’t already purchased your flight – which means next week.

Ok – your turn. How can we all save money on flights?

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives