In June I attended a conference in my hometown of Las Vegas. It was a Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) conference. One of my clients taught me how to best approach a conference like this to get the most out of your time there. I used to simply show up to conferences and attend the training sessions, then head home. I learned the conferences aren’t for training. They’re for networking.
Here’s what you want to do:
- Obtain a roster of all the attendees
- Assess which attendees would be beneficial to reach out to BEFORE the conference
- For my client and I we looked for real estate regulators, and schools that we could partner with
- Write a personalized email to each attendee you want to contact. In the email schedule a time to meet at the conference…grab a cup of coffee or dinner
- Note which attendees you want to look for at the conference
- You don’t have to set up a meeting with them. It’s good to match a name to a face.
- I made note of regulators in each state that were attending, the ARELLO person, people we’ve collaborated with in the past
- Introduce yourself to the people you noted on your roster list and anybody else you meet. Pass out business cards and collect business cards.
- This was the hardest step for me. I don’t like butting myself into a conversation and introducing myself. I also don’t like small talk. I like to get-to-the-point and work out a deal. I’m figuring out how to network still. I’ll let you know when I learn more!
- After the conference email the people you got contact information from. Ask to schedule a virutal meeting to get to know one another better and discuss how to help each other.