Do you find yourself at a conference where you are giving more than you are receiving? Once someone looks at your name badge and sees you are at a big company name, do the requests start flowing for introductions, connections, and possible ways you can help them?
Conferences have to be mutually beneficial, which is why when the executives I work with ask me if they should attend or speak at specific events, I say that they need to be ruthless about finding out exactly who else will be in the room.
Last week I was at the Ascendant Network’s Retail and Digital events in New York where I spoke on The Influence Bullseye last year. What Susan McDermid and her team have created with these events is truly unique. You have to be nominated to join, and have the council approve your application, while the initiation process might seem arduous, the investment is certainly worth it. You get to spend time with your fellow executive peers for candid, thought provoking discussions. You even have the opportunity to have a rapid executive coaching session with experts in strategy, innovation, and leadership while you are there if you choose. If you are a CMO, or executive in retail or digital strategy, let me know if you want to hear more, the next event is in Silicon Valley in October.
If you are unsure whether to attend an event, make sure you speak to other peers who have attended and ask them for their honest take. One of my clients was considering joining the Wall Street Journal CIO summit, and I realized I knew one of the council members, who I called to get their insights. With that feedback, my client decided to join.
Sometimes sponsorship makes sense, you might be a CIO or CFO and there is an event that your company could benefit from sponsoring. I am on the board of Harvest Summit, an innovative field trip that brings together Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and the food and wine industry. This isn’t a functional or industry based event, more of a creative meeting of minds of CEOs and executives to cross pollenate ideas and new innovations. Ask me if you want to learn more or be considered for an invitation.
My final recommendation are with Evanta Gartner events. They have functional based summits that are created by the very CMOs / CIOs / CFOs that they serve. Their governing body dinner the evening prior to the conference allows executives to mingle and meet their peers, then the following day many bring their leadership team to hear topics presented by leaders in their industry. They are regionally based. I’m happy to introduce you to the Evanta team if you want to learn more.
Ask yourself are you always giving at the executive events you attend and not getting anything in return? If so, it is time to find some new places to hang out!
Dedicated to growing your business,
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