Listen, we all let loose. It’s common at Convention – we enjoy seeing the faces of our community after a full year, and we love making more memories in a comfortable, beautiful, free, and fun (re: open bar) environment. I’m not telling you to not imbibe (if that’s what you enjoy doing) but don't turn an incredible business networking opportunity into a repeat of your 21st birthday. Let's face it, we're not in our 20s anymore and we don't bounce back as easily.
There are a few simple ways to avoid a head-bumping hangover and those commonly dreaded questions - What did I do last night? To whom? Who was there, and who possesses the digital evidence? Number One: HYDRATE. Number Two: FREE FOOD! Eat something (maybe a few things). Number Three: Keep your wits about you. The last thing you want to do is a) embarrass yourself in front of a potential client or business partner, b) violate your conference or association’s code of conduct for events or membership, or c) party so hard that you end up missing the carefully curated events, sessions, and workshops that are crafted to help you increase your industry reach.
This won’t be the last time you have an open bar, nor the last time to create a memory with these people. Limit yourself so you can remember the memory.
2 - Skipping Educational Sessions and Workshops
You’ve heard it before: in school and at band practice, from coaches and bosses, the dentist and the mechanic – don’t play hooky. Don’t skip sessions. Your company paid a substantial amount to send you to this incredible conference to network and grow in your knowledge, career, and self. Why drive to the gym only to turn around in the parking lot and head home? (Yep, I’ve done it. More than once. I may not be able to do a pull-up, but I can three-point turn my heart out. You’re welcome).
SEVEN12 Management staff spends countless hours interviewing, researching, brainstorming, and work-shopping different ideas, sessions, and speakers to create a well-rounded, interesting, and thought-provoking event. Most of the time, you get the most out of a future session by attending the one before it. Alex Trebek has said the advice he would give Jeopardy contestants is to start with the lower sum answers on the Jeopardy board – because there are clues to the big ticket questions in the lower sum answers (here’s looking at you, Holzhauer). Because we know that a great salesperson isn’t just good at sales. They’re good at marketing, at leadership, at creating a work-life balance that fits their ideal schedule. That’s why you have a session on 360° marketing tactics, followed by new distribution sales processes, then a wellness session to ground you and provide you with tactics to center your busy days and combat stress. It’s called The Holistic Approach. You are a whole person, here is a whole event to service your whole being that you can then use to enhance your whole company. Wholly cow, we are good.
3 - Inappropriate Conversations
Convention is a happy place. Let’s keep it that way. This is NOT the time to confront a co-worker or manager about an injustice you’ve suffered over the year. It’s not the time to close a chapter or find closure after a failed relationship (whether business or personal). These conversations are best to have on a neutral ground that isn’t teeming with lots of time together and free booze (see No. 1, above for a reminder on imbibing). Making a scene is never a good idea. Never. Use the age-old rule: write an email, sleep on it, re-read and decide after 24 hours if you still want to send it. Often, it’s in everyone’s best interest to move forward.
Exceptions include: standing up for someone who is being mistreated; ensuring the safety of someone who may be in harm’s way; showing your overarching gratitude and excitement for the Convention/Speaker/Session/Party (these types of exuberances are celebrated).
4 - Fly By The Seat of Your Pants
SEVEN12 Management staff will work tirelessly for you, especially in the 18 months leading up to the annual convention (yes, it does take that long to plan). Not only are we ensuring all dietary needs are being met for the hundreds of attendees, we are triple-checking every detail so doors are unlocked on time, breakfast is ready for the early-risers, AV is tested and retested to ensure no hiccups, there’s candy at the registration desk, etc. It takes a long time to put together that “Know Before You Go” email that attendees receive. We make sure to put ALL OF THE INFORMATION you need to ensure you know where you are going, to know what to wear, what the weather will be, and when sessions start. Reference that email (or the event app) before you text your Meeting Planner (I love you, but you KNOW what time breakfast is).
5 - Get Distracted
This is a cardinal rule in my household – if you stand in front of the refrigerator and ask me where the milk is instead of looking for it, you are automatically grounded. You are welcome to ask my 40-year-old husband how many times he gets grounded in a week. It’s not less than 10.
We don’t want you to ever feel lost on site, and many times hotels and conference centers aren’t set up as intuitively as we would like, or the meeting space assigned to the group is a little choppy (we do the best we can!). But we do put directionals (paper, digital, and human) to help you. We are here for you, but, also, look up from your phone. Usually, bathrooms are pretty clearly marked and you’re usually standing directly outside of one when you ask me where it is.
Now, the things TO DO on site: have fun, try something new, break from your “tribe” and sit with someone you don’t know at meals or sessions, take notes, expand your network. You’re at Convention to learn, connect, do business, and have fun. Invest the energy to do this, and that financial investment will pay dividends.
Find out more on how we can help with your next event at www.SEVEN12Management.com.