It’s two and a half weeks until #NARAnnual in San Diego and the last minute checks are in place even as I fly to Chicago for a wedding. If this is your first time at at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo let me give you some hints: plan, plan, plan, and plan. There are so many things going on during the annual conference of the largest trade organization that you will most definitely have a hard time making every class you want to attend and make every special event out there. So how do you plan for a this event? Here are my top five suggestions:
1. Pick the classes that will have the most impact on your business. What is it that you need to do to take you business to the next level?
2. Schedule at least two walks through the trade show floor. Leave your credit card in the room first round. Everything looks great at first, so sleep on it. If it looks great the second go around after you do your due diligence, then buy it. Check with your partner/spouse/significant other.
3. Pack some protein bars, vitamins, and pick up some bottle waters. Stay hydrated my friend, stay hydrated (with water).
4. Pack business cards. You will make some amazing friends that will turn into your go to people for ideas, referrals, and business in the future. I have made life long friends at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo that have become my inner circle. By the way, don’t be that person that hands out cards and ask for referrals; it’s not about referrals, it’s about relationships.
5. Pack a Sharpie marker that you can use to write on the back of business cards. That way when you get home and are updating your database and sending them cards you don’t have to work through the convention haze to remember who they were and what you talked about.
This conference is an opportunity to engage with some of our industries greatest minds so take a moment to talk to the person next to you in the bus, in the lounge, or at dinner. Who knows, they may end up being someone that can change the course of your career. It happened to me when I sat with a table of strangers at the Oklahoma Association of REALTOR® conference in 2012. Find me and I will tell you that story or maybe in a blog at a later time. Have an amazing REALTORS® Conference & Expo.