So, You’ve Been To The Conference, NOW WHAT?

If you are a conference junkie, you can find a conference (or workshop) to attend every day of the week.

Be it live or virtual if you just want to be at a conference, they are a dime a dozen and just about everyone has one going on.  With that being said, I am very selective and strategic about the conferences I attend because I value my time and TIME IS MONEY!  I’m a huge advocate for guarding your time and using it wisely. I often tell my community, you can get more friends and money, BUT YOU CANNOT GET MORE TIME! Once that time is gone….well, it’s gone.

While, I’m NOT a conference junkie, the past two weekends, I’ve been “in conference”, Now What?  I’m glad you asked….but before I get to the nitty gritty, let me tell you about the two conferences and why I decided to attend.

Last weekend, I attended a faith-based conference and I attended on both Saturday and Sunday.  When I purposed to be there I did so with two objectives…. the first was to support!  The conference host is a personal friend, whom I revere as a sister.  So my primary purpose was to support her event.  Not only did I support her event with my presence, but I also supported her event financially by placing a Congratulatory Ad in their conference guide.  My secondary purpose was to receive some spiritual substance.  Mission accomplished on both of my goals and therefore, my conference goal was met and indeed a success!

Today, I attended the Sacramento Women’s Expo.  It was awesome!
Stephanie C. Harper Sacramento Womens Expo
It was well “exhibited” but it wasn’t a huge conference, so it was easy to navigate throughout the venue.   I had an opportunity to make what I believe will be some really value connections.  Not only connections that will be of value, but also set my sights on some potential sponsors and advertisers.  In fact one major connect was meeting with the President of the Sacramento Chapter of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), who after a brief conversation shared how impresses she was with me and grateful to make my acquaintance and invited me to be her guest at the next meeting in November….and yes…I’ll be there!  Repeat after me…..SUCCESS!   There were multiple other connections that were made that you will hear more about later!

The next conference I’m already registered to attend is also in Nov, which is the C-Suite conference at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco.  The C-Suite Conference is an exclusive networking conference that’s held 3 times per year and you have to be invited to attend.  My purpose for attending that conference is to take part in being a front runner in some o the innovative business strategies that will be shared and of course to meet with other innovative business minded individuals who are considered to be the movers and shakers in the Bay Area.  So I’ll be there…..moving and shaking with industry leaders!

Now, I have a conference bag full of “stuff”…but what will I do with it?

1.  Chew the meat and spit out the bones! 
I will go through my conference bag and separate all the cards.  I will label all the cards and date them so that I will remember when/where I connected with these people.  I will also enter them in to a database with some notes based on my interaction.  Now this is a project that I will have to complete over the next few days while the information is still fresh.

2.  Decide which are “now money now” prospects” vs. “more money later prospects” vs. “no money prospects”.  
What that simply means is there are some prospects that I need to make a immediate contact with because there is synergy and an opportunity for us to work together in the future. It may involve sending an email and re-capping our conversation (based on the conversation we had at the event).  It may involve sending them out a card or just calling to set up a time to meet. Or it may involve simply putting the card in a file because there is no immediate synergy.

3.  Enjoy some of the goodies in my bag! (remember I have two weeks worth of bags to go through).
One of the goodies, I picked up at the Sacramento Women’s Expo was a T-shirt that says “Authentic Queen” (yes the one in the video).  It was a necessity for me to have because it ties directly into an upcoming event that I am hosting in February 2016.

Yes…Speaking of conferences! You are cordially invited to join me in the beautiful wine country of Napa, CA February 26-28, 2016 for the Quintessential Queens Epic Empowerment Conference and Retreat! There are 3-ways to register…. One Day Conference Only, One Day Conference + Jazz and Dinner or the Weekend Retreat! The weekend retreat is limited to 20 women and there are only 11 spaces left!

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4.  Discard the junk! 
Here is the down side of  attending conferences…..some of the items that you end up coming home with you are simply trash!  (However it’s pretty awesome that both conferences had purple bags…..right on!  Purple is my friend).

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So if you’re planning to attend a conference any time soon… as yourself the following questions before you register!

1.  What is my goal for attending?
2.  What kind of people will I meet?
3.  How does attending this conference better me or my business?
4.  Does this fit into my schedule?
5.  If I decide to attend, how can I show up on purpose?

#Queens2016

This article was written by

Stephanie C. Harper, PHR, CCP, CHRM is a certified human resources professional by trade with more than 20 years experience in the field. An author, career expert, speaker and radio host she is also the Founder and Publisher of CAREER Magazine. She has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Greater Diversity News, Trinity Broadcasting Network and the Steve Harvey TV Show (to name a few).

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