3 Things I Learned From Traffic & Conversion Summit 2016 [Part 1 & 2]
This post was originally published on allenbrouwer.com
Traffic & Conversion Summit 2016 was the first conference I’ve been to in over a year. I was excited, nervous, and just amped to learn, meet people, and find out how I can scale BestSelf Co. and my other businesses.
Well, didn’t take long for me to figure out some of the key take-aways. I’m going to be breaking them down by day and rolling them out in phases. So bookmark this page if you have to, or just come back later.
[Part One] Snag the Recordings Before Hand Because People are Important
It was unbelievable to see so many people in one place. I had forgotten about the energy that flows when people come together who are aligned on one thing. In this case, Digital Marketing, Growth, & Online Business.
Now, many people believe that you can get the same feel of a conference from the recordings, or a webinar, but let me tell you, in person is the way to go. Even if it means dealing with the jet lag and making yourself crazy trying to get there. Once you are there, it will totally pay off.
I’ve made many connections with people over the past two years with the launch and growth of my businesses and BestSelf Co. However, most of these connections have been online. Facebook, Email intros, etc.
Although these are great platforms that allow us to connect with people who we would never come across in our day-to-day, they do lack the personal connection that occurs face to face.
This is where take away number one comes into play.
Buy the Recordings BEFORE you go
I had pre-purchased the recording of the event for two reasons (so I thought).
- First- I can’t be in two talks at the same time. So I would need to watch the recording of the ones I missed to get ALL the content from the conference.
- Two- They were cheaper if you pre-purchased.
But what I didn’t realize, was that purchasing the recordings before the event took away the anxiety surrounding the presentations. If you missed a key point in the presentation, you were not sweating bullets over it. You’ll be able to go back to the recordings later on and get a refresher.
The refresher is absolutely going to be needed, especially after this conference, as each talk was like drinking from a firehose. From the opening Keynote from Ryan all the way to the last speech, it was MASSIVE content that was ACTIONABLE and MINDBLOWING. Seriously, there was so much good stuff coming at my I could barely hang on to my brain. (Another good reason to get the recordings, lol)
But here’s the real reason to buy the recordings
One the first day we were walking back from lunch to head to the next talk, which was one that I especially wanted to attend. We ended up bumping into a friend and sat in the lobby talking to them.
It’s been over two years since I’ve seen John Logar in person, but we started off like we never skipped a beat. We were catching up, and I thought to myself for a split second, “wow, thank goodness I got those recordings”.
We ended up missing the whole hour presentation. If I didn’t get the recordings I would have thought to myself the whole time “what am I missing” or I would have cut a good conversation short. Neither of which would have been good.
I’m glad I was able to talk to John; he’s doing some amazing things, and I can’t wait to help him get to where he wants to go. This wasn’t the only time I saw him, but it was the only one-on-one time I did get with him, so I’m glad it wasn’t cut short due to the seminar.
Bumping into Marie Forleo
Fast forwarding to the second day, I was tired from some of the lectures and decided to skip part of one to get some Starbucks to reboot. As we came back from Starbucks, I see Marie Forleo sitting at a lobby table with Rick Mulready. I had wanted to get the SELF Journal into Marie’s hands for some time now, and I just happened to have only ONE in my bag.
I politely interrupted, and was able to connect with Rick, who if you don’t know, teaches amazing Facebook Marketing tactics & strategies, and I pretty much learned most of what I know through his FREE content.
I was able to connect with Marie, ask if there was anything that I could help her with (her new B-School class was just launching so it was a perfect time) and as a way of saying thank you for her awesomeness, give her a SELF Journal in person! She doesn’t accept any books or products via mail, so I had to take advantage of this opportunity. And what a great opportunity it was.
People Are The Backbone
Human connection is the backbone of conferences. More than the content, presentations, or vendors hooking you up with amazing deals. (which yeah, I definitely took advantage of)
It’s about connecting with people who share the same goals and passion you have. Helping one another get to were you want to go. Really looking someone in the eye and saying, “Yeah, they fucking get it.”
Now, if you want to learn a super Ninja Trick.. The real magic happened on the second day. It only took an hour but was worth the entire conference price tag. What I’m going to share with you will change the way you interact with people at conferences. I didn’t get this myself, Cathryn Lavery showed me this trick, and I’m going to use it from here on out.
As I told you in part 1, people are the backbone of conferences. It’s about connecting, showing up fully and helping one another in personal & professional lives.
Now, this strategy that I am going to give you will 10x your ROI at the event. It will help you connect with amazing people. Get in front of them and be able to have personal and uninterrupted conversations with them.
When I found out about this at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2016, I was blown away. Then, it happened, and I believe if I just did this one thing during the conference, it would have been worth the entire price of the trip.
Typical Conference Experience:
What happens normally is that you bump into someone during an event, and you talk for a little bit, but something happens. Someone else comes up; their attention gets pulled away, they need to prep for the next breakout session, they get a phone call… something that takes away from your experience and interaction with that person.
Now, how can we try and remove all that to put things in our favor and get one-on-one time with these people we look up to; or want to build relationships with?
We catch them when none of these distractions can happen.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself: “where? when? how? There’s always something going on; there’s never time to sit with these people.”
But if you look here, you’ll see that there is a place that all presentations and workshops are on hold (for a long enough time) and will be the perfect window to connect.
Everybody’s Gotta Eat
Every conference has a lunch break; it’s longer than the regular breaks, which gives people time to go out and eat and take a break from the presentations.
But here’s what generally happens, people leave the last morning seminar and walk or take a taxi to the nearest restaurant.
If you attend any decent size conference, you’ll have about 3000+ people trying to do the exact same thing. Now everyone is waiting on a table or in line at the one of the three restaurants that are convenient to the venue.
Here’s the ninja trick to bypass the line & the wait, and sit down & connect with all the amazing people you want.
Make a reservation
Yes, people, it’s that easy… make a reservation, but not for 2 or 4. Make a reservation for 5 or 7 people.
Leverage Is Key
Most people don’t make reservations for lunch, so you should be able to book a table with a larger number of chairs without a problem.
Now, when you’re walking around the morning sessions, talking to people, learning more about them, and you want to continue the conversation, ask them if they have plans for lunch.
“Hey, where you going for lunch?”
If they don’t have plans, let them know that you’ve made reservations at XXXX restaurant and would love if they joined you. Let them know you have an open seat and would love for them to join.
The last piece of the puzzle relies on you. When these people do show up for lunch (and they will), you need to bring some value.
Talk about what might help them, where they are now, what their getting stuck on, etc. It’s important to use this time to build the foundation of your relationship, don’t try to burn through it.
The conversations we had during lunch were fantastic. I even took notes during one of them, (because they were that good).
In the next part, I’m going to show you how to take all the information you got from these lunches, from the seminars, and from the workshops, to get the most out of them. It’ll help you easily chunk down all the knowledge bombs you were just given.
Attending confrences is like drinking from a fire hose. I’ll share with you the best way to chunk down everything you learned, so you can take action and get more done with less time. Make sure you stay in the loop for when I share it.