I was at the Skift Global Forum East this month in Dubai and I am going to tell you 9 ways how you can make the best of an event just like I do. They are:
(1) Tell a story with your look – Don’t just put on clothes and head to an event. Become a Spottable Icon and let your look say what you don’t have to. Let your make-up artist help you and guide people around you to craft that story. This idea was reinforced by Lola Akinmade during a conversation whom I met at the event I completely agreed with her. We should fully invest in putting a look together for events that demand the best from us. So get a make-up artist or stylist and keep a budget for that. Thanks, Lola! In my case, I put together a toned-down business meet casual look representing my style of entrepreneurship.
(2) Build a strong relationship with organizers – Have multiple dialogues with your organizers and ask questions. Remember they know every detail about the event and they want you to look good otherwise why would they invite you? Build a strong collaboration with them and follow their instructions. And always cheer them because organizers put their hearts and souls into events so we can have a good time. Become one team! In my case, I also got external support and invited Sania Lali to become my Speaker handler and she helped in so many ways. It just made everything look easy and less stressful. And Brian Quinn helped me put together my content according to the audience so that the impact would land on them beyond just inspiration.
(3) Understand your audience – If you are speaking, understand the profile of the audience and read the energy before you go up on stage. If you can speak to people beforehand. It builds tremendous comfort levels and you literally feel you are just entertaining guests in your own lounge. Read audience more than reading your fellow speakers.
(4) Give your best on stage – If you are speaking then you must be someone who knows their craft. But become less of an expert on stage and more of a storyteller. Fumbling, forgetting lines and missing steps only make you look more human so relax and just give your best. Things will go wrong if they have to but no matter how you start your talk, end it on a powerful happy note. That is what everyone will remember you with.
(5) Network with genuineness – Many people from the audience will reach out to you for pictures and a chat. Forget everything and give that person your attention. You have spoken on stage now you become the listener and listen to each one of them. Touch upon some ideas that can be collaborations and exchange cards. Once you email them, email them the picture and also mention the ideas you exchanged. Here the key is to be genuine and build a relationship not a transaction.
(6) Tea breaks – Do not hide away or mind your own business during tea breaks. Make yourself available, laugh and talk to people around you. Let go of business at this time and talk more about the human side of you such as what books or food you enjoy. Keep the business talk for the meeting you can always schedule it later.
(7) Touch-up break – This is a small break for touch-ups, namaz and a breather. You can give a call to a friend and just relax a little. It will help you keep up the game
(8) Have Fun – It’s all about having fun and enjoying the energy and flavours around you. Focus on making memories and lifelong relationships 9) Measure Impact- After you have had all the fun, measure the impact of your contribution. In this case, I was happy to see my message immediately being published on Skift and the experience getting views on my social media. So my impact was sowing the idea of accessibility within the travel industry and I could see it taking a flight even before the day had ended.
So make the best of all events you become a part of. Follow Skift and follow me Good luck!