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Being a part of the roster of exhibitors at WBENC Orlando, FL this past June was a BLAST! The event was co-chaired by some major global brands including The Walt Disney Company (it was held in Orlando after all), Wells Fargo and the Pinnacle Group. The most rewarding aspect of our experience was having the privilege to attend the largest women business owners conference in the U.S. Having the rare opportunity to network, learn and share in such a rich environment of successful women entrepreneurs is something everyone should do at least once.
Read more below:
9 Things We Learned @ WBENC Orlando 2016
#9 – It’s Good To Get Out and “Sharpen the Saw”
The idea that sometimes you have to take a break from the “work” in order to sharpen your skills was a gratifying new lesson learned. A dull axe won’t cut a tree nearly as effectively as a sharp one. “Sharpen the Saw” means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–YOUR CREATIVITY. It means having a balanced program that rewards the four areas of your life: the physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. We work hard as a team, and at this event we had a chance to have a great time with new and old friends. We injected a little childhood magic into our lives at the Magic Kingdom, enjoyed many of the nearby restaurants and partook in other great attractions. Can’t wait to do it again in New Orleans and Las Vegas in 2017!
#8 – Get Social – Meeting Like Minded Influencers and Business Owners Makes all the Difference
“Some of the biggest leaps we’ve taken as an agency have come from being at industry events and being able to nurture the relationships that were formed over the years.” says Terry Tateossian. We pride ourselves on being an agency that’s “relationship-driven.” At the end of the day, it’s not just about building websites, producing videos or crafting marketing strategies, it’s about people who make things happen. It’s about people who become part of our daily landscape and who help us achieve incredible things. Whether they are clients, vendors, or even our internal colleagues – we start and end the day with gratitude for the people we work with.
#7 – Never Undersell Yourself – Even to Yourself
Don’t undersell yourself or allow yourself to believe larger companies aren’t looking for someone like you. There is a growing trend in many Fortune 500’s to work with smaller vendors on a project basis. Google Inc., for example, allows project managers to work with vendors who fit their needs regardless of size.
#6 – Don’t just sit There! Participate!
Make an effort to get the most of the experience of being at an event like this. Be a part of all the day and night time schedule of events.
#5 – Book Your Travel Reservations Early
Booking your hotel reservation early is key. The best hotels and accommodations fill up within weeks of the announcement of the next WBENC conference. If you want to make the right connections, booking a hotel close by will reduce any commuting time and give you access to the best restaurants and bars, where most networking happens. Plus, who doesn’t love a little extra time to freshen up between events.
#4 – Be Persistent and Memorable
Bring lots of business cards and share them without hesitation. Leave each person with more than a card, leave them with a great first impression.
#3 – Tailor Your Presentation to Your Audience
Know what your audience needs to know, why they have come to hear you and provide them with a mix of what they expected and add a bit of the secret sauce. They will thank you in ways that will keep on benefitting you and your company.
#2 – Set an Achievable Goals and Be Strategic In Advancing them
Know what you bring to the event and what you would like to take away from it. Then figure out the best way to deliver what you brought and how best to get what you need and want.
#1 – Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up.
The most important rule after any event centered around opportunity to meet and network with potential future businesses is to grow your relationships. That means staying in touch. Make the first contact post-event relevant. Jot down something the person said that will be a good ice breaker. Just had a baby, ask about the baby by name. Just lost a loved one – inquire how they might be doing. Just got promoted – ask how they are doing in their new position and how you might be of help in making it an even easier transition. Be thoughtful and thorough.