Headed to NACA Nationals? Or perhaps SXSW or the Concert Management Institute? Here are a few tips so you can make the most of your experience:

 

Talk to everyone.

Whether you are focused on booking awesome artists, or trying to expand your network for future career opportunities, make sure you talk to everyone you can. This means associates and professionals, as well as colleagues. If you are a student or programming advisor, talk to people in your role at other universities. There is always more to learn and new stories and strategies to hear. You never know when a conversation will spark a new endeavor or idea!

 

Go to everything.

If you are completely exhausted after a 3-4 day conference, you are doing it correctly. Attend educational sessions and panels, go to every exhibit hall booth, extra social activities, showcases, conference meals, meetings and whatever else you can cram in. Make the most out of your time at the conference and focus on soaking in every possible learning opportunity that you can.

 

Write things down.

You are going to be very busy for a few days straight, and although you think you will remember prices, dates, names, and information – you won’t remember it all. Write things down or take notes on your computer or phone. You will be glad you did when you begin to follow up later.

 

Be professional and honest.

If you are not interested in what someone is selling, listen and keep an open mind, but don’t be afraid to tell someone you aren’t looking for what they have to offer. You can be supportive while still being honest. No is the second best answer, right after “yes!”

 

Ask questions.

Most professionals at a conference love to talk about what they are passionate about. Ask a lot of questions while in person so you can make better, more informed decisions. You can even ask which days and times it might be appropriate to follow up with someone.

 

Follow up.

You can be sure that many professionals will follow up with you after a conference, especially if they think you are interested in something they are selling. Be sure to get back to people so they can keep you on their lists, or take you off if you are no longer interested. And if you had any conversations that may result in future career opportunities, follow up on those as well so you don’t miss out!

And, most of all, have fun. Conferences are a very fun opportunity to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, and gather new and exciting ideas. Enjoy it!

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]