This week I truly wanted to attend, XeroCon. It is the conference to attend for Accountants and Bookkeepers. Xero is a cutting edge Cloud based accounting platform.
My passion for Facebook Ads Strategy is embedded in Financial Literacy. It is why I focus on all clients understanding their numbers, knowing what ROAS, CPA and CPL is and then why I focus on all clients being optimised organically first, before they spend money on paid ads. I hate money being wasted.
I’m an introvert. The thought of being in a big crowd has me breaking into a sweat. However, after I’ve seen and experienced the results of attending conferences regularly, I ensure they are an essential part of my business plan and personal development. (I’ve actually realised now, when I have clear objectives before I step in the room, it makes the world of difference).
So even when I decide I want to attend conferences in person, life happens. This week my kids are in school, my Pop is in hospital and as flexible as my work is, it’s not possible for me to step out of the business to attend conferences in person.
Conference season is in full swing. It’s easy to feel like we are FOMOs, if we are not attending every conference going around.
Because of my mixed emotions regarding crowds, having a family focus and careful budget planning, I deliberately take time to assess the value of attending. It’s not just about the conference ticket and associated travel costs, it is vital I gain the maximum Return On Investment (ROI) of my time and money.
So when I realised due to my circumstances it was not going to be possible to attend, I focused on making the most of the digital tools I have available to me. I ended up with surprising results.
This is how I have made the most of my circumstances this week:
- Updated my bios – it’s always good to update your bios. Make sure your information is up to date, and that your descriptions reflect who you are and what you want to be known for. Facebook Ads Strategy, Enabling Financial Literacy, Being an Educator and Social Media Practitioner, Being a Mum and Running Marathons are common themes you will find across my Social Media Channels. Having my bios up to date has meant when I like, comment or share posts, and draw attention, people will check my profile. It’s important they get who I am and what I want to be known for.
- Followed Speakers – Usually you are drawn to attend a conference because of the speaker line up. I followed Trent Innes, Rod Drury, Steve Vamos and Genevieve Bell.
- Followed Hashtags – Each conference has a Hashtag. I followed the #XeroCon hashtag on Instagram and on Twitter.
- Watched Live Videos- I watched Facebook Lives. Including this one by BOMA interviewing Leah Oliver from Minnik Finnancial. Live interviews like this gave a great inside view of XeroCon.
- Watched Interviews – Discovered attendees like Clinton Cowin doing videos and watched their updates.
- Engaged – I liked, commented and shared posts on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.
💙 #Human at heart is all about community — we seriously cannot do this alone.
Thx to the 3,702 attendees from 20 countries who made #Xerocon Brisbane unforgettable! 📽️👏
— Xero (@Xero) September 11, 2018
- Replied – When someone responded to my comments I replied.
Attending conferences enables you to build connections and relationships in person. However, Social Media enables you to start, build and continue conversations. If you are not attending a conference in person, use Social Media to create opportunities.
Food for thought… Online + In Person = MAGIC
It’s not meant to be one or the other.
“Often everything we want is a mere inch outside our comfort zone. Test it.” – Bryan Johnson
What are other alternatives instead of attending conferences in person:
Virtual Conferences – What I love about Social Media Marketing World is that it also has a virtual option to access all the sessions. This is invaluable if you are unable to attend in person. I think it is a huge opportunity for all conferences to incorporate a virtual option for their events if they are not already doing so.
Social Media Connections – Connect with speakers, follow them on Social Media. Engage with their content. Doing this is invaluable. You will often find out about other conferences they will be speaking at. Giving you other opportunities to meet in person, grow and develop your learning opportunities.
Content Plan – Plan your content around the event themes. The Conferences that you want to attend should be in alignment with what you want to be known for. Therefore content around this helps increase your audience engagement.
Hashtags – Follow Hashtags, Keynote Speakers, Respond, Follow Up. You don’t need to be on all Social Media platforms, but rather, focus on the ones you are already on and the ones the conference organisers are using.
I make sure there are several events each year I attend in person. I’m a realist, take time to figure out what you want to achieve. Once my goals are set, I then figure out where best to be.
Selecting the conferences and supporting marketing activities that best suit my goals and budget help to set me up for success.
How do you make the most of conferences?