What do you do at conferences?
A conference review instead of a book review this month!
As you may have guessed, I believe education is an important element of my business success. I allocate 40 hours per year to my personal and business education and make it an event that needs to be planned, budgeted and scheduled each year.
For me, like many business owners and employees, my available time and budget determine my attendance at seminars and conferences. Therefore, I endeavour to make the most of the opportunities available to me. When you attend a seminar/conference, what do you do? Do you attend the sessions of your selected speakers and then hide during your breaks with your mobile phone? Or do you proactively talk to speakers, other delegates and/or the exhibitors?
At the Innovative Industries Conference, I attended this month, I encouraged several of my colleagues to proactively ask pre-prepared questions at each presentation and then to stay back and ask additional questions or better still meet the presenter during a break for further information. Why not have your own one-on-one with this insightful person who is a success and from whom you have chosen to listen and learn?
After each Conference I prepared a quick (never any more than a one-page) summary of the key points I learnt from each presentation. So this month I’m going to share with you two summaries from the Innovative Industries Conference.
My first summary is from the presentation by Matthew Michalewicz. Michael is a Polish immigrant whose success story is based on the belief that while you can learn success from following in the steps of another person (he tried to follow Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘How To’ guide), you will be more successful if you have:
1. Clarity – what do you want to achieve? Michael suggests using a pyramid approach to designing your goals – starting with the small ones that lead into the next level … eventually building to your ultimate goal. NB: The pyramid should constantly be updated, as once you have achieved the lower level goals the next level will become your low level goals.
2. Desire – how badly do you want it?
3. Belief – do you believe you can have this?
4. Knowledge – if you don’t have the skills then invest in yourself to obtain the knowledge to make this happen.
5. Confidence – do you have the confidence to walk in the shoes of what you want?
My second summary is from Robert Gerrish’s presentation. Robert is a co-author of the book ‘Flying Solo – How to go it alone in business’. I’m a fan of Robert’s book and website, so if you have not seen either of these go to your local book store and pick up a copy or visit his website soon (http://flyingsolo.com.au). In his presentation, Robert shared five clear messages on attracting opportunities:
1. Work with the appropriate level of language. Interestingly most people work at a level of 8 to 10 year olds! Before you blanket all communication to this level, please check out your audience.
2. Get noticed – people to like to know what you do, so do it!
3. Have the right action at the right time.
4. Check out your competition. When did you last do an audit of your competitors?
5. You have to get out from behind your desk – when was the last time you came up with an idea sitting behind your desk?
A review that I haven’t time to share with you but encourage you to check out the work of is Roger La Salle. Roger presented some great techniques for innovation in your business. Have a look at his books and if you get the opportunity to see him in action do it. Your business will not look back.
Finally, my last rule for Conference attendance is to meet with one or more attendees at the conference and talk about what, how and when I’m going to make any changes based on the best ideas and suggestions I absorbed at the Conference. If you did not attend the Innovative Industries Conference I suggest you chat to a friend about one or two ideas that you might like from either Michael’s, Robert’s or Roger’s work and discuss how you can incorporate these into your business.