Tips and Tricks for Being a Pro Event Attendee at Get Connected Calgary 2018
With Get Connected Calgary 2018 only weeks away (May 28-29, 2018), you might want to register to reserve your spot as soon as you can. Our previous events like Get Connected Vancouver, QuickBooks® Connect Toronto and Thrive all sold out in advance. You can expect two days packed with QuickBooks Online training, expert speakers and plenty of networking opportunities. Below, you’ll find some tips and tricks from various folks who’ve attended previous QuickBooks events to help you get the most out of your time in Calgary.
Making Get Connected Calgary 2018 an Exceptional Experience
Get Connected Calgary 2018 is designed to provide you with the skills you need to take your business to the next level. You’ll learn new skills and expertise that you can to put into practice immediately and successfully.
With this in mind, a few of your peers – those who have attended many of Intuit’s® events in the past – have provided some tips and tricks with the goal of transforming your Get Connected Calgary 2018 experience from basic to exceptional.
1. Plan it out. The number one tip we heard was to plan. The ROI of attending Get Connected Calgary 2018 (and events like it) increases if you take time to map out what you’re going to do before you get to the conference. The first day is not the day to decide which breakout sessions you want to attend, who you want to meet and what you want to get out of it – do this ahead of time!
AIS Solutions’ Juliet Aurora says it best, “Plan. Plan. And then plan. If you plan out the sessions that you really want to see and will benefit from the most, you will get so much more out of the investment of your time being at the conference!”
Tiffany Stewart of Marabirch, Inc. also believes in planning before the event: “Make sure you know all the event hashtags. Pre-register for the sessions that interest you. Get there early – some are so popular that you can’t get in.”
In addition to ensuring that you get the sessions you want, planning ahead benefits your team and your clients back home.
“Planning is key to a successful conference experience,” says Jennie Moore of Moore Details Inc. “I start with a conference plan in Smartsheets that lists my agenda down to the room numbers. I do this to plan for my sanity, as well as make it easy for my team to know when to expect my availability. Often, I travel with my family so this serves as a guide for both business and family fun time. This plan is formulated in advance so we can see if there are any caseload issues. The last thing I want is to tend to a client issue while conferencing.”
2. Don’t be shy. Events such as Get Connected Calgary 2018 aren’t just about attending classes and listening to expert speakers; they’re also a place to – you guessed it – network.
Sherri-Lee Mathers of Balsam Way Bookkeeping says, “Networking is the best part.”
Her tip? “Make a list of people you want to connect with IRL (in real life) – those individuals you don't know formally but from social media postings and forums. Send them a message ahead of the event and tell them you want to meet and connect. Be intentional, and even say a topic you want to discuss. If you don't make that prior contact, it can get so busy that you forget until you get back home and kick yourself. I already have my list of PIA (people I admire) for Calgary.”
Networking is an opportunity to meet new people, share what works (or doesn’t work) in your business experience, learn from your peers and industry experts, and get leads for future business opportunities. It’s a mutually beneficial situation.
Networking also lays the foundation for lifelong friendships. Tiffany Stewart says it starts with getting out of your comfort zone.
“Engage with strangers – they will quickly become friends,” she says. “The people that attend these events are really friendly and down to earth. I remember being overwhelmed to meet Andrew Wall, and turns out, he’s a great guy to have a conversation with. I remember meeting Marnie Stretch for the first time, and we hugged even though we had never met. Social media connections are amazing.”
Tiffany also says, “Everyone is approachable. Take that first step to introduce yourself.”
Working on taking that first step is a great tip. So, this is a networking trick you may not know: bring snacks.
“I want to ensure I’m always networking at conferences. So, you’ll always see me with food in my pockets, as I’ll pass up the buffet line if it means I can have a meaningful conversation in the flesh with someone.” advises Jennie Moore.
3. Stay healthy! Does this one surprise you? It shouldn’t! Not only do you need to be healthy to make it to the event, but you also must remain healthy to be able to focus and have energy to participate in the myriad of activities available at Get Connected Calgary 2018 (check out the agenda for yourself … more info will be available in the coming weeks).
Staying healthy may seem easier said than done, but Brad Celmainis of Brad Celmainis Accounting Solutions has some great tricks.
“Load up on vitamin C or whatever immune system boosters you rely on. Conference flu is a thing. With all the hugging and handshakes that go on, germs get passed around like crazy. Also, get lots of rest BEFORE you get here – sleeping is optional once you arrive,” he says.
Kellie Parks of Calmwaters Business Consulting has similar advice: “Plan to get your sleep in before or after the conference because it may not happen during it. #NoFomoForSocializing.”
And, remaining healthy includes staying hydrated:
- “Water. Drink a lot of water!” – Dianne Mueller, Soma Small Business Solutions
- “Lip balm, hand moisturizer and water are key.” – Tiffany Stewart
- “Definitely lots of water, hand sanitizer and comfortable shoes.” – Dawne Leaney Davidson, Freelife Accounting + Bookkeeping
Get Connected Calgary 2018: Wear Comfortable Shoes, Tote Backpacks and Bring Batteries
Before you go, our event attendees have a few more words of wisdom on getting the most out of attending Get Connected Calgary 2018.
Brad Celmainis says, “Bryan Tritt inspired me to wear comfy shoes at these conferences. You'll be on your feet a LOT.”
Jennie Moore advises, “Try using a backpack instead of a briefcase. It’s easier and more comfortable to tote your mobile office around. Make sure it includes a water bottle.”
Elaine Orr of BalanceSheets.ca says, “I always carry a couple of well-charged battery chargers for my phone. You'll be on social media so much, you'll need to charge a couple of times a day. I know there are usually charging stations now, but I don't want to sit there until my phone charges … there are sessions to attend!”
Finally, one more piece of advice: “Have fun!” says Tiffany Stewart.
These events are a blast, as well as educational and inspiring. If you haven’t yet registered for Get Connected Calgary 2018, then this is your chance to do so. I’m looking forward to an exciting event and being able to interact face-to-face with our community of accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers. I hope you’ll be one of them.