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How to Attend a Seminar

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I have made no secret of the fact that I am a big proponent of education as a way of sharpening your business skills and keeping up on the latest trends and practices in your industry. There are many ways of getting that information, each of which has distinct advantages and disadvantages. One of the best, however, is to attend a seminar or conference.

Personally, I like to make a special trip to spend a concentrated amount of time learning about something I need to know. Even if the event is a dud, I have managed to spend a lot of time thinking about my business and that is never a bad thing to do.

Seminars can be as short as a couple of hours or a conference as long as a couple of days, but no matter how long they are there are some specific things you should do before, during, and after the event to insure that you get the most out of your investment of time and money. (It is important to remember, however, that learning is a process, not a one- time occurrence; therefore don’t expect to come away from a single event as an expert. If you can learn two or three really solid nuggets you have been successful.)

Here are a few suggestions:

Before the seminar:

1. Set objectives – what specifically do you want to learn more about?

2. Be sure you are well rested; spend the night nearby if necessary. Yes, it’s an extra expense, but why go at all if you are too tired to absorb the information? Think of it as an investment in your investment.

3. Be sure you pack lots of business cards.

4. If this is the type of seminar that has concurrent “breakout” sessions, go over the agenda carefully in advance so you can plan your time and spend it on the sessions that are in alignment with your objectives.

5. Find out who is going to attend the meeting or seminar so you will know whom you want to meet.

During the seminar:

1. Participate in all exercises, even if they seem “dumb” to you. They have been designed for a reason.

2. Volunteer for anything and everything; the more you participate the more you will get out of it.

3. If you go with a friend or co-worker, don’t sit with them or attend similar sessions (if there are multiple session); you will meet fewer people and be exposed to fewer new ideas.

4. Arrive early

5. Ask questions; don’t be afraid of appearing stupid. The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked. Besides, questions benefit everyone in attendance.

6. Take lots of notes, even if the event is being taped. The physical act of writing the information will help you absorb it. Abbreviate whenever possible. Use symbols in the margins to highlight special things.

7. Make a list, separate from your notes, of action items; specific things that you want to do and/or implement right away.

8. Exchange business cards with other attendees that have synergy with your business. Be sure to make notes on the back of each card about the person and the reason for your interest in them, or you will forget.

9. Remember that you don’t necessarily want to only get someone’s business card; you want access to their Rolodex as well! He/she may not be a potential client for you, but do they have people in their Rolodex who may be potential clients?

10. Remember that it is easy to get overloaded with information and feel completely overwhelmed. Don’t worry, it will pass. This is why it is critical that you take good notes and identify specific action items as they occur to you.

After the seminar:

1. Go over your notes as soon as you return in order to reinforce what you learned.

2. Make a commitment to complete at least one of your action items in the first three days following the seminar.

The most important thing, however, is that you attend in the first place. Everyone wonders how to invest their money so that it is safe and it grows, but the best option is often investing in yourself. That’s why seminars and conferences are good investments; make the most of them.

“Make More Money and Have More Fun” with your small business! Dave will show you how with his FREE newsletter, or his FREE ‘Min-E-Seminar’: “Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business.” Visit http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/art.htm to sign-up, for information on speaking services, or for copies of past articles and newsletters. Comments and/or questions are always welcome at 1-800-366-2347 or Dave@DaveBalch.com. (c) Copyright 2002-2003, Dave Balch. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

How to Attend a Seminar
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About Dave Balch
"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small business! Dave will show you how with his FREE newsletter, or his FREE 'Min-E-Seminar': "Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business." Visit http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/art.htm to sign-up, for information on speaking services, or for copies of past articles and newsletters. Comments and/or questions are always welcome at 1-800-366-2347 or Dave@DaveBalch.com. (c) Copyright 2002-2003, Dave Balch. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WebProNews Writer


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