I’m headed back today after some incredible days at WPPI and I’m hoping I can help many of you organize your thoughts through the same process I’ve learned to follow. Following any great business trip, especially a convention, I’ve developed my own system and I’m hoping it’ll help some of you.
My system is based on one irrefutable fact: Time is our most valuable commodity and we never have enough of it. So, I don’t want to miss a single thing I’ve accomplished since leaving home last Saturday. For many of you, you've not only grown your network, being at the convention, but you've got dozens of new ideas from the various workshops you attended. Nothing could be more true than the line, "You snooze you lose!"
1. Right off the bat, I always try and get an exit row seat and while I love the legroom, the issue is having enough space to work and use my laptop. For example, on our way out I was able to write my April article for Shutter Magazine. Then, while at the WPPI show, I was able to get some quick help in shooting the video that always goes with each article.
2. I review my notes, before I forget what I wrote down during various meetings. I’m a lousy note taker, often just writing down a word or two to remind me of something discussed in a meeting during the convention. My problem has often been waiting too long to review my notes and then not remembering what I was supposed to follow-up with. I can’t decide if the problem is overload, my aging brain or losing too many brain cells at concerts when I was younger!
3. Next up, I pull all the business cards collected during the week. There were several times when I met somebody who I knew would have an interest in something I’ve got scheduled later this year and I want to follow-up immediately.
4. I prioritize the emails I want to get done in order of urgency and make a short hand-written list. It pretty much looks like a “honey-do” list, but it’s the only way I seem to be able to keep track of everything that was discussed during the trip. Checking them off, one at a time, works with helping me maintain the discipline to get everything done.
5. I simply start doing everything on the list. When each one is done, the contact information for this person get’s loaded into my address book and I use my white board in my office to manually write out when I want to do follow-ups.
For many of you, there’s one more step in getting the very most out of this week and it relates to things you learned in the various workshops you attended. As you go over your notes look for the “low-hanging fruit”, meaning ideas you learned about building your skill set and business that are the easiest to implement. These are the ones you want to jump on the minute you’re back.
Most important of all, don’t procrastinate. Start taking action as soon as you can. It helps increase the speed of your ROI for the trip to the convention in the first place.
I know I make it sound easy, but after so many conventions and workshops in my career you have to remember one thing summarized in the expression,“It’s not my first rodeo!”
Illustration Credit: © adrian_ilie825 - Fotolia.com