7 items for your business conference checklist

It always helps to write things down. Before you’re going on a trip, you often make a list of items you’re going to pack. A trip to the supermarket goes much easier when you’ve got a list with you. It always feels good to cross things off a to-do list.

So when you’re heading to a business conference, it just makes sense to have a checklist as well. 

A business conference is a great way to network, grow your business, interact with new consumers, and attend speaking events or workshops. Even though so much attention has been given (rightfully so) to the world of digital marketing, you still can’t discount the importance of an offline marketing strategy.

Let’s begin by running through our pre-business conference checklist. 

Plenty of Business Literature

After shaking hands and introducing yourself, you’re going to be handing out lots and lots of literature. This could be business cards, pamphlets, or both. You need to make sure you have plenty to go around.

Do some research to see how big the conference is in order to see how many you need to print off or bring. Once you have a number, print off a few more just in case. You’d much rather be safe than sorry here.

Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready

Your elevator pitch, or cold pitch, is what you’re going to be using to greet everyone you meet at the conference. Just like an old grade school speech, practice it in front of the mirror a few times and toy around with it to make sure it sounds right.

You want it to be clear and concise, so people instantly know who you are and what you do. It’s best not to leave people guessing.

A Clear Goal

Why are you going to this conference? What are your aims? What do you hope to achieve? 

It’s best to have a clear and obvious goal before you set up a table at the conference. Your goal should be something more than “meet a bunch of people” or “grow business”. Think about how you’re going to do so. Is there anyone you want to connect with? Any specific targets in mind? Have these laid out before you step on the conference room floor.

Set Up a Schedule

Attending a business conference shouldn’t be like visiting the amusement park where you can wander around, maybe go to the roller coaster, then head to the tea cups, and finish it off at the haunted house. Or ride one roller coaster 100 times. It’s up to you!

Your business conference schedule should be up to you, but you should also have it planned out before arriving. The last thing you want to do is grab an outline of the day’s workshops and speakers to browse what’s out there.

Think About Handouts

We already talked about handing out business cards and literature, but what about other items? It always helps to give people something else to remember you buy, like a tote bag, set of pens, or another useful item.

You don’t have to break the bank, but remember to bring enough to hand out with your business literature.

Scope Out Other Conference Venues

Talk to any businessman or woman, and you might be surprised to find out how many deals or negotiations took place out of a business setting.

Head to Google Maps before your conference to see if there are any coffee shops or cafes that people might be frequenting in their time off. Maybe the hotel has a gym or bar area where you might catch up with a number of people. 

Some are more open to talking when they’re in a more relaxed setting, so be prepared with places to go.

Follow-Up After

While technically not a pre-conference item for your checklist, it’s important to remember that following up after a conference is vital. After all, most people will forget half the information they learn within 24 hours

Chances are you and everyone else you met also met plenty of other people, so some may need a short reminder. Have a strategy for those you’re going to follow up with, like inviting them out to lunch or meeting them on a golf course.