Archive for February 18th, 2013

3 ways to benefit from events: Attend. Speak. Sponsor.

Last Wednesday, I visited a new (to me) women’s business group called eWomen Network. It’s a North American organization, with chapters in four Canada provinces (Alberta, BC, Nova Scotia, and Ontario) and 35 states in the US. Not surprisingly, California, Texas, and Florida have the most chapters.

The Phoenix chapter is under the relatively new management of Johnell McCauley – and she’s doing a fantastic job. You couldn’t precisely call the luncheon I attended a networking event, as it’s much more than just that – but you could definitely call it an experience.

The speaker, Cathy Alessandra, refers to herself as the Chief Innovative Officer for her marketing firm. She crammed a lot of excellent info into a

Cathy Alessandra

Cathy Alessandra

short, powerful presentation. Here are the biggest takeaways:

BE SEEN. This means showing up. But before you do, be sure you do your research, set great intentions, be willing to expand outside your comfort zone, and have a mechanism for following up. I’ve heard twice in two weeks: If you’re going to collect cards at a meeting and then not follow up, you might as well just stay home. Lastly, go with the intention of being of service, rather than selling. This takes the pressure off both you and the people with whom you’ll be connecting.

GET HEARD. As a speaker – even a free speaker at a weekly Rotary Club or chamber meeting – make sure you deliver a content-packed presentation with easily implementable steps. You will do your best if you exude both self-confidence and confidence in your area of expertise. Be sure to connect with your audience. If any of these seem wickedly challenging to you – start by getting yourself to a Toastmasters club, joining, and participating. Every speaker started somewhere – Toastmasters is an excellent place to get your feet wet.

CONNECT. Your end goal is to connect with others in a meaningful way. Do that AND be seen as a leader by speaking, sponsoring, or hosting your own events.

PLAN. As a speaker, you’ll need a one sheet (we’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post). You’ll also need to do your research to learn about live and virtual events seeking speakers with your expert knowledge. Set goals for how many events you will attend, speak at, and sponsor this year – and keep at them until you achieve your goals. Calendar these goals in pencil – and mark them in ink when they’re confirmed. Stand out from the crowd by picking up the phone and calling event planners, rather than relying exclusively on email. And check with prior speakers, vendors, and attendees to see what their experience was before signing up.

The main message here is that it’s easier than you might think to use events – and speaking in particular – to get noticed, sell books, and enhance your business. What are YOUR event and speaking goals this year? Please share them in the comment section below.

To being seen, getting heard, connecting, and planning!



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