Have you noticed the onslaught of conferences, workshops, seminars, live events, webinars, etc. in business and personal development increasing over the past few years? Were there always this many but now I just seem to have a heightened awareness about them? Or, is it that every Tom, Dick, and Harry…or Sue, Jane and Mary, has something to say and something to sell? Me thinks it’s a little bit of both.
Over the past five years, as I’ve delved deeper into my own personal development, I found myself googling topics such as personal development, self-help, spiritual guidance, law of attraction, entrepreneurship, invention, small business ownership, and a myriad of other topics. And…as you know, once you start searching, the magicians at google seem to find you and match you with like-minded individuals, products and services. All of a sudden, you are inundated with emails and ads from people you’ve never even heard of.
As I was diving deeper, I found myself attending some free one-day, two-day, three-day seminars. I now know there’s no such thing…I’m all too familiar with the upsell. I have nothing against that…in fact, those who are out there offering value for free should absolutely be paid what they are worth if customers want to continue the journey with them.
What I noticed is this…I AM ONE OF THE ONES BUYING AND CONTINUING ON! In fact, this year alone, I have said “Yes” to myself and to all the opportunities that have come my way. Every one of them. I look back at this year, and I am amazed at how many weekends I’ve spent sitting in a large meeting room instead of being outside or doing something leisurely with my time. Yet, here’s what I’ve discovered…I LOVE going to these events! I love the people I’m meeting, I love the content I’m learning, I love how my mind is expanding, I love the connections I’m making, I love the skills I’m implementing, I love it all!!! There are so many talented people out there, with an abundance of gifts to share with us, and I consider every one of them my teacher. I would much rather sit and listen to the struggles of entrepreneurs and the road they’ve traveled to reach their current level of success than to be sitting at home watching TV. I find that way more exciting!
So, now that I’ve realized that I could quite possibly be a “Seminar Junkie” I am going to list the top five tips I’ve implemented in order to maximize the results of the experience while I’m there. You might want to use them for yourself if you find that you are spending more time looking at the backs of heads and a speaker on stage than you are looking at the trees, the grass, the horizon, or your loved ones.
Tip #1: Meet As Many People As You Can… But, Only Take A Business Card From Someone You Actually Plan to Connect With.
When I first started out, I took everyone’s card. I’d return home from the event and have a huge pile of cards. I couldn’t even remember half of them, so how can I possibly support them? I would much rather leave an event with five quality contacts of people I can help and who want to help me, than 50 cards that clutter my desk, my contact list, and my mind. It’s not serving them, so don’t take it because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. It allows them to move on to someone who might be able to help them.
Tip #2: Dress In Layers.
Those rooms are freezing. They keep them cold to keep you alert and awake. So, dress in layers so you can adjust accordingly. I would much rather be in a cold room than a hot room, but I do not want to be uncomfortable. Therefore, I dress in layers…short sleeve, with a long sleeve over it, with a jacket or shawl for even more warmth. It takes away from the experience if you’re focused on your comfort level.
Tip #3: Be Present…Take Less Notes and Listen More.
You’re at the event, so hone in on it and BE AT the event! They video record the entire events these days. Don’t be so worried about taking notes. If you sit and really listen, then you’ll only need to write down bullet points. That will make retaining the information much easier when you go back and review your notes…which leads me to Tip #4…
Tip #4: Review Your Notes Every Day for a Full Week.
It’s in the repetition that we retain and remember. If you look at your notes every day for a full week after the event, your retention of the material goes up exponentially!!! I don’t recall the statistic, but it’s a crazy big number! (I think it’s in my notes somewhere from a seminar I attended before I started implementing this practice!)
Tip #5: Eat Well and Stay Hydrated!
The sessions go long and biology breaks are few and far between, but that’s no excuse to become dehydrated. If you’re not eating healthy snacks and consuming a lot of water, you are going to burn out for sure! You’re tank will run out of gas. Have some snacks in your bag and a big bottled water with you. There’s usually water there, but sometimes it’s a hassle to get up in the middle of training to get some, especially if you have to disturb other people when you get up. If you’re prepared, you don’t have to worry about that.
So there you have it…my top five tips as a self-proclaimed “Seminar Junkie.” These events are a way to continue real-life, practical education. They are out there talking about their failures as well as their successes. As a Student of Life, I’ll take my education and insights wherever I can get them. Thank you to those who put themselves out there. I hope to see all of you at one of my events in the near future. Until then, keep doing what you’re doing.
Quote: I’m not in the speech making business, I’m not in the seminar business, I’m not in the writing book business, I’m in the changing lives business. – Zig Ziglar