Conferences are a great way to meet up with like-minded contractors and to grow your business. They are also a great way to blow money and get absolutely no return.
Michael Gerber summed it up when he stood on stage and called most of the audience, “stupid, stupid, stupid.” I couldn’t get away with that, but I’m not Michael Gerber.
Michael was calling the people that attend events and do nothing with what they learn, “stupid.” Since I’m not Michael, I won’t call those people stupid. However, I will say that wasting your time, energy, money and opportunity is a dumb thing to do.
The good news is that it’s easy to be, “smart, smart, smart!” This is how to get the most out of your conference after it’s over.
#1 – Organize Your Notes by Category
If you are like me, you have taken tons of notes at your gathering. The problem with note-taking is that you do it in chronological order, as opposed to category. Chronology is not as important as category once the conference is over. What’s important is:
“What are you going to do with those notes?” and “How are you going to file them?”
Organizing your convention notes into categories creates clarity. This is an important part of getting the most out of your time and the convention. Here is my suggestion for categories:
Electronically Store your Notes
You are most likely going to lose that notebook. But great ideas are worth keeping. Implement a note-taking tool like Evernote. I have been using Evernote for 2 years, and rarely use paper anymore. It is terrific. All notes can be accessed from computers to mobile devices.
#2 – Create a List of All the Action Items to Implement
Action is where change happens. So, be sure to create your action list. If you create no other list from your conference notes, then at least create your full action list.
Boil the List Down to the Top 3 to 5 Items to Implement
Being overwhelmed is a common result of a great convention. You have a lot of great ideas you want to implement. So many, that tackling the list becomes something of a frustration. This leads to demotivation, and then inaction. Therefore, focus on the few.
Go through your list and pick 3 to 5 implementation items. That’s enough.
If you are curious as to which 5 should you pick, then just ask yourself the following questions:
The answers to the questions above will help you organize the list in order of priority.
File the Remaining List as “Future Action Items”
Just because you are not going to do the list immediately, doesn’t mean it should not be done eventually.
#3 – Create a Connection List of The People to Stay in Contact With
Conferences are great, but the people are better.
In order to get the most out of your conference, stay connected with people that are models of growth and success. These relationships can prove immensely valuable.
At my last conference, I connect with Dale Steele, Landon Brewer, and Ken Goodrich. These 3 gents are powerhouses in the trades, and I plan on staying in contact with them.
Dustin Caison and Jack Westenberger
Connect with the People on your Connection List
A list is just a list. You now need to connect. There are so many wonderful ways to connect with people. I strongly suggest using social media. Facebook is a great way to stay connected. In addition to “friending” someone, you can also create a Facebook Community Page. It’s easy, and you can do it and invite your list in 5 minutes.
While you are on Facebook, go ahead and Like the Service Excellence Training Page.
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