Last week, iConsult founder Richard Crawford-Small was in attendance at the CCR Expo 2017 congress. As the largest medical aesthetics event in the UK, many industry professionals were also present, making CCR Expo the perfect environment for reconnecting with old friends and gathering new contacts.
As well as providing optimal opportunity for networking with your fellows in the industry, congresses and conferences are a source of valuable information on the latest industry breakthroughs and ethical standards, and a great aid for working on building your own profile. However, it can be difficult to find the time when you’re adhering to packed schedules that dominate at such events.
Luckily, here at iConsult we have perfected our congress technique to a fine art! Here are our top tips for getting the best possible results out of your congress appearance, and how that can translate into positive business results.
Do your research!
Anybody intending to attend congress to showcase themselves or their products needs to ensure they are adequately prepared to do so. Whilst you probably know all their is to know about what you’re trying to promote, it pays to do your research on the other industry specialists in attendance. Not only will doing so help to spark conversation with other attendees, but it will leave you more likely to make a positive, lasting impression. Remember that everyone else is likely there for the same reason you are, and there has to be some reciprocity of interest.
Taking the time to research the “who’s who” of any congress will also help you adequately schedule your time, and allow for flexible networking around your must-sees. Getting an idea for the speakers and attendees will also allow you to get a feel of the flavour of the conference, and whether or not it is right for you and your business.
Quality over quantity – EVERY TIME
During congress, you’ll most likely want to squeeze as much as you can into the limited time you have. However, it is important to remember that quality always trumps quantity. Fewer, but more meaningful, interactions will always make a greater impression than fleeting encounters when it comes to forging connections with other industry professionals and maximising your memorability.
Should you have taken steps to prepare yourself thoroughly, this shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve, especially if you’ve effectively prioritised usage of your time. Remember that there may be attendees wanting to speak to you as well, and pay them as much attention as you would want somebody to give to you. Use social media to promote your appearance at the conference and invite others to seek you out for conversation- you never know who might see it and make the time to visit you.
If you have the time, it pays to keep a record of your conversations. Memory cannot always be relied on, and by jotting down a few bullet points, you can help to ensure that conversations are not wasted or forgotten.
Reach out to new contacts
Post-congress, it may seem as though your work is done, but there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure your appearance at congress has reached maximum potential. Over the next few days, you should be sure to reach out to all of your new contacts, even if only to thank them for their time and exchange pleasantries, but try to make your email as engaging and useful as possible.
It is always worth keeping lines of communication open, as friendly faces within the industry will always be an invaluable asset to your clinic. Ensure every email is personalised to the recipient (this is when your notes will come in handy), as personal touches go a long way when building and maintaining a network of professional contacts, and in ensuring a reply from the recipient.
Perfecting your approach to congress can take some time, and even well-established professionals don’t get it right every time. You won’t always get the results you want, but it is important not to dissuade you from future appearances. The benefits far outweigh the risks, and each conference is an unrivalled opportunity for the networking, knowledge, and promotion your business needs. However, don’t forget to relax and have fun!
If you would like any more advice from our founder, Richard Crawford-Small, then don’t hesitate to get in contact!