How to survive your next business conference?

So, you’re attending a business conference soon? Documents prepared, tickets bought, hotel reservations confirmed? Well, fair enough, but there might be something else you should know that will help you prepare… this time for real.

Based on our own experience, knowledge and hmm.. well, screw ups, here a list of top hints how to prepare for your next conference. And survive it, smoothly.

1 - Bring business cards

Seriously. These small pieces of paper may help you close the deal. Sometimes even seal the deal. Or at least make valuable contacts. Make sure you have them in your business card case, and, well, do it right now. Otherwise, you’ll probably forget them. Pack additional batch into your wallet while reading these words. The sooner the better - or you’ll end up with the business cards of your work buddy. Or sign pieces of paper, like the rock star, but I'm afraid that won't be helpful.

2 - Prepare small talk

Social Beasts will handle it, for sure. The thing starts to complicate if the state of your shyness reaches higher levels. Well, standing out there at the networking session and wishing death to everybody will not make it. At least will not make you the money. If you happen to be the person that prefers to listen than to talk, fine. You don’t need to resign from social events. Just make sure to prepare some smart words that describe you and your company interests. Try to be original, or at least very professional. But yes, weather may also be ace up your sleeve.

3 - Wear comfortable shoes

'Try walking in my shoes' gains the second meaning here. Choose wisely, you’re going to spend the whole day, evening and usually half on the night in the same pair of shoes. And that seems long. Even the most reasonable amount of fun won’t drive off the discomfort and instead of focusing on networking, you’ll end suffering terrible tortures because of the blisters. Don’t try to be the most fashionable person in the area, bet on already worn, comfortable shoes.

4 - Lunch business

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. There is a common belief that best deals and valuable contacts are made during the lunch break. Grab a meal, enjoy the taste, do the business and engage long lasting conversations that may be influential. And delicious.

5 - Drink responsibly

Yeah, we have all been there. The atmosphere, the one-night-friendship with your talk-buddy, never ending ‘cheerses’ and partying will have its bad influence on your productivity and appearance on the next day. Going to the conference to do business? Well, go and do the business. Go there for partying? Party. If the first one applies (the business) follow the next step:

6 - Don't make appointments the next day

If the party atmosphere on your conference continuously lasts, you’re going to have the feeling that you’re the next Wolf of the Wall Street and you’re gonna make it. Make it all. The sad truth is that you won’t while being hangovered. Little yesterday-ish? Don't drive. And definitely don’t make hurraoptimistic business appointments. You’ll probably won’t be able to consume a decent breakfast. Not to mention handling with the real business.

8 - Bring charger

Oh, that’s my favorite one. It surprises me all the time how fast batteries in my mobile phone and laptop flats. No matter how soon you’ll enter power saving mode, your batteries are gonna be dead faster than you think. Make sure to have your charger or power bank with you all the time.

9 - Buy someone a coffee

You know that this Very Special Person is attending the same conference and you’d love to meet him or her, but you’re too afraid that such fat cats don’t talk to the average guys like you? Want to stay out of the crowd while arranging a small talk? Ask your Very Special One if he or she would join you for a coffee and something sweet. This Very Special One may not be interested in consuming, but will definitely look kindly at you, curiously interested who you actually are.

10 - In case you forgot ones name

Forgetting your talk buddy's name is a common, but still tough faux-pas. Unfortunately, it happens to most of us. The best way to deal with this uncomfortable situation is to play the role and ask directly: “Sorry, I’m trying to recall what your name was?”. Your talker will, probably, slightly irritated, remember his or her first name. If so, play the surprised one and add: “Oh, no Michel, of course I do know who am I talking to. I was asking about your surname, to google you!” Sarcastical, but could work and save your head.

Been there?

Know the above examples, or maybe experienced even more interesting screw ups? Feel free to share! Warn everyone, let us all prepare to our next conference, better. Don't be shy! Still, it's all about the fun, isn't it?

In the meantime, why won't you take a look at our other easy-to-read articles? Grab a coffee and find out our Ruby After Hours World.

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