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Attending business events – how to get the most out of them

Today we signed up our 30th member to the Bordon Hub – way to go team and welcome to all our new members, you’ve found the right place to be part of a fantastic local business community and get the support needed to grow your business!

Joining a business support group or, for that matter attending any business-related events and workshops, is only one step to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your business venture. Membership or attendance alone isn’t enough, although turning up certainly helps!

Participation is vital if you want to get the most out of any business event, which is why I thought it would be useful to run through a few ideas for ensuring you get value for money, and value for the time you spend away from your business.

Obviously there are lots of different types of events - talks, workshops, conferences, expos and networking – so you may need to change your tactics depending on what event you’re going to. But based on our own Hub meetings, here are my tips for getting the most out of attending business events.

1.     Research the speaker and subject matter

I would highly recommend spending a little bit of time researching the theme of the event (if it has one) and if there’s a guest speaker or trainer, finding out a bit about them. This will help you understand how the content might relate to your business so you’re primed to get the most out of the session.

2.     Prepare some questions beforehand

Often in their closing speech, a speaker or host will ask if ‘anyone’s got any questions?’ Hopefully, throughout the presentation or workshop, ideas for questions will pop up in your head and if you haven’t already had them answered, now’s the time to put your hand up!

But sometimes your mind might go blank and you only remember that crucial question until you’re on your way home. So a good tactic is to jot down a few questions beforehand, particularly those that are pertinent to your business, as well as any that you think of during the session. Then refer to these when you get the opportunity to put your questions to the speaker.

3.     Take notes

Be prepared with pen and paper or tablet to take notes during the event. You might be given some resources too, which you can annotate with your own comments. Where possible try to make your notes relevant to your own business so when you review them later you can see what actions you need to take.

4.     Talk to other attendees

Generally at Hub meetings and other business events there will be a wealth of experience in the room. While the trainer or speaker may be a subject matter expert, other attendees may have first hand experience of the subject and their insights can be really valuable.

Take the opportunity to talk to other people, such as during the coffee break or after the session, about the subject, their business and their experience. We can all learn from each other.

5.     Follow up after the event

There are several ways you might want to follow up after a business event. You may want to get in touch with the speaker to ask another question or get more information from them. You may want to follow up with another attendee and develop that relationship – please do we’re all about community building here! Or you may have feedback for the event organiser, good or bad, to help them gauge how useful the session was.

At the Bordon Hub we’re very keen to get your feedback, so please complete our feedback forms or email us with any comments. These will be used to develop our programme of events and how we help our members.

About the Author Emma Selby

Emma Selby is the founder of the Bordon Hub and Managing Director of SiGNAL. She is also a serial entrepreneur and social media trainer, bringing her experience and expertise to the Bordon Hub business growth programme.

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