Maximize Your QuickBooks Connect 2017 Experience – How to Plan and Get the Most Out of Conferences

Eric GreenspanEvents and conferencesLeave a Comment

Many go and many have a blast, learn a ton, and make new friends and contacts. Many also spend a lot of money and lose a week of work, a double whammy. When attending a conference it’s important to plan and set goals. Remember, this conference is not where you will find clients directly, rather, you’ll be hanging out mostly with your competition. Along those lines, you can still find more than just interesting conversation and new relationships.

Here’s a list of things you can do to maximize your experience at QB Connect 2017:

Make a plan

Start by making a real plan on what your goals are. Is it fun? Friends? New business contacts? Customers? What is the value of each and how hard are you will to work to accomplish any of your goals?

A goal for a typical advanced ProAdvisor should be to make new contacts with partners that will funnel leads your way and provide you with faster response from their support department. Having friends in high places can make your job easier and you more productive. You can also find people that have the answers to questions you might have throughout a typical work week. Find that person, either individually, a “coopetitor” or at the company that you resell/partner/represent.

Get there early. Get up early. Go to bed early.

Don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite clients Lynn Mattice of Mattice Business Services and I met at the bar in the Fairmont. That’s the spot where a ton of activity happens during QBC. That lounge area and dueling pianos gets nuts. Then, there’s the TSheets party, which I can hardly remember.

While I had a blast and found a new client, I paid the price in the morning and the next day I was slow and tired. Thanks to Nancy Gomez of Bottomline for the Advil. I lost a day of productivity and have vowed to either avoid these events or tackle them by getting up and going to be early, well rested, and eating properly. It will make all the difference. Get to the gym and take walks. Thank me later.

Go for inspiration but don’t get lost in the hoopla

There’s a ton to do and see at QuickBooks Connect but you can’t do it all and you shouldn’t. Pick the trainings, lectures and keynotes you truly desire, and then spend time in the exhibit hall and meet EVERYONE that directly relates to your business. Make notes about them, either on your mobile or on the back of their business card or flyer. Also, consider taking a break and catching up on work. Make a few bucks each day. It will really make a difference when you get back home.

Avoid negativity

You’ll meet people who aren’t always nice. Sometimes, they’re downright mean. There’s always a group and they know who they are. They are focused on one thing and one thing only…themselves. Stay away from these groups and stay focused on meeting the nice folks and the ones that bring the most value. There’s no shame in wanting to meet someone for a specific business purpose, that’s why you are there. Just avoid getting sucked in.

Play

Enjoy yourself, enjoy the ride, always. Have some fun, but remember to get to bed early and eat right. Ironically, Shonda Rhimes is at QBC this year, one of my favorite Ted Talks ever. Just watch it and you’ll know what I mean. You’ll also prepare for her talk at QBC.

I was lucky enough to see this live at TED. What you see in this video is NOT what actually happened. They had a major technical issue LIVE and Shonda was true to herself. She handled it like a pro, with grace and style. Sadly, you may never get to see that, but know, this woman is the real thing. I’d not miss her talk, for one.

Setup your technology BEFORE you leave

I’m going to make a checklist for this one:

  • Make sure you have all the cables and charging equipment you need;
  • Make sure you have remote access;
  • Backup your devices BEFORE you leave;
  • Update and make ready any software or operating systems to avoid having to do this on slow hotel connections;
  • Build a means to take notes, that syncs to your mobile and desktops concurrently. Evernote or something else with an OFFLINE component that syncs when online is ideal;
  • Get your lists in order. On Mac, we recommend AnyList. It’s perfect. Windows, you are stuck with Wunderlist, but it’s not awful. Make lists of goals, people you want to meet, ideas, big ideas, and things to do, see or enjoy.

Go to QB Connect and enjoy every minute of it. Make sure to make a plan and try to stay on track. Get something in return for your investment. This is business.

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