What’s holding you back? This is a question we continually ask ourselves regarding many facets of life, especially pertaining to our career goals. How do we break through barriers of connection, invest our time wisely, and learn the tools of our trade to realize the sense of self we find in our work?
We know it’s easy to feel like there are too many obstacles standing in the way of attending special events or creating “me time” as you pursue your dreams. Between time off your day job, travel, money, hotel, and coordinating childcare, you can sometimes feel like, “Well, maybe I’ll just try attending the next one and take an online course or something else instead.”
We get it! However, we really want to encourage you to think of attending EFC as one of the biggest investments you can make as you tackle those goals head-on. Join us with mindfulness around building your business and making connections, and we know you’ll reap the benefits ten times over.
Nothing else can provide such a tangible ROI.
The Everything Food Conference team works tirelessly year-round to ensure every dollar you invest is maximized. In order for you to maximize your investment, here are 10 things you can do both before and after the event to make the most of EFC!
1- Share your journey and connect with others on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Feeling nervous? Feeling excited? Want to ask questions to those who have previously attended EFC? Well, you’ll find answers and your people in our private Facebook group.
Are you learning some amazing new things? Did you meet one of your business idols? Share your experience on social media! When you share your experience on social media, your fun and positive energy is contagious on your platforms which will increase your engagement. People love following events and seeing all the good they’re missing out on.
2- Allow yourself to be in the moment.
As entrepreneurs, we are constantly juggling numerous roles. During EFC week, don’t be tempted to work like you normally do while attending the event. There are SO many opportunities around you! The person in front of you getting coffee or walking next to you on the way to a presentation could be an incredibly valuable connection. Remember how you’re attending EFC with the plan of crazy ROI? Work and home distractions will potentially cause you to miss valuable relationship and networking opportunities.
I know this can seem hard, BUT here are a few things to turn the rest of the world off while you’re investing in you and building your business at EFC:
- Set an Out of Office Reply… AND don’t check email until the conference is completed.
- Set goals to have as much work as possible completed two weeks prior to the event
- Utilize your VA or outsource as much as you can while you’re attending the conference
- Reschedule any conflicting appointments or deadlines until after EFC
- Create a to-do list a few days prior of things you need to focus on after the event
3. Practice your 15-second elevator pitch so you can clearly and quickly explain who you are and what you do.
If you get nervous about introductions and first impressions, a way to overcome jitters is to have a clear plan! Create a 2 to 3 sentence elevator pitch including your name, blog, how long you’ve been blogging, your target market, and what you blog about. You’ll be prepared and less nervous when people ask:
- So…what do you do?
- How long have you been blogging?
- What is your blog about?
Practice with family and friends until you can say it confidently! Remember, people usually ask questions because they are looking to see if there is a potential connection for the future. Keep it brief and to the point. This way you get past the introduction quickly and start making really strong connections.
4. Identify key brands and attendees in advance, and set a goal to connect with them.
The talent and possibilities crammed into one building at one time are limitless. If you don’t have a short list of brands and people you would like to connect with, you may miss the opportunity.
Who are people who have influenced your business? What brands do you naturally love and would be thrilled to work with? Who do you think you could collaborate with? Create a list of people you know are attending or hope are attending and make a plan to connect with them!
In everything you do, you want to be authentic. Be YOU! If you genuinely want to build a relationship with either another attendee, speaker, or brand, do a little research and find a unique, memorable way to connect with them at EFC.
5. Stay up-to-date by reading all details from email newsletters and following provided guidelines.
What to wear? What to bring? Where to go? All information and details will be provided in order to make your arrival at the venue incredibly smooth. We want to remove as much stress as possible, so please take 1 to 2 minutes to read all emails and guides provided. We work hard to make sure all your questions are answered.
6. Arrive the night before the event begins.
First, it’s a great opportunity to network or grab dinner with people or groups before the conference really gets going. You will also not feel rushed to get to registration or possibly be late to the event. Give yourself time to get settled in, explore the area/venue, and meet those first few people who might be your new besties by the time you leave!
7. Take pictures with people you meet! You can both hold your name tag next to your face, take a picture, and you’ll better remember your conversation and experience with them once you get home.
Am I the only one who struggles connecting faces with business cards after an event? I always attempt to take brief notes on business cards after meeting someone, but I do so much better with pictures. For everyone you meet and have a conversation with, take a selfie together holding up your nametags. This will be a great visual reminder. Better yet, post it on social media and tag them!
8. Even if you’re an introvert, be social.
If you’re an introvert and get nervous at big events with lots of people, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I know it can be uncomfortable, but make a goal of how many new people you’ll meet each day. Push yourself to introduce yourself when otherwise you wouldn’t. Push yourself to attend every event and social gathering even if you’re tempted to just go hang out by yourself in your room at the end of the day. There are SO many great connections waiting for you!
9. You only need ONE idea, ONE conversation, or ONE connection to drastically change your life.
EFC has been described as a ‘home for food bloggers’ and ‘the most important event you could ever attend as a food influencer‘. There is SO much good packed into just a few days and you may have the feeling you’re drinking from a firehose. That’s okay because you literally just need ONE idea or ONE connection or ONE presentation to completely change your business and your life. When that ONE thing hits you at EFC, just be prepared to embrace it.
EFC has always been about YOU. YOUR dreams. YOUR goals. YOUR business success. EFC 2019 will be here before you know it. The EFC Team is dedicated to once again exceed all your expectations and help you overachieve. See you at #EFC2019!!!