So LAC & ICE are over- now what?
Its amazing how you’re able to get by on adrenaline and caffeine for one week straight, yet the minute you get on the plane, you suddenly feel like death. Some people even feel depressed on the way home because the excitement is over and its going to be another five months until we all reunite again. The good news is there will be a next time and (hopefully) you’ve got something to show your boss after a week full of sessions, booths, networking and fun.
One of the best parts about the iGaming industry is its conferences and a part of the package includes how you manage your time straight after an event finishes. After spending ten years attending these events, I’ve got a routine perfected, so here’s my advice on how to manage your first week back in the office after LAC & ICE come to an end.
Its likely conferences for you mean changing time zones, big nights out, lots of alcohol, not enough sleep, unhealthy meals and generally overextending yourself for five or six days straight. Before you do anything after returning from the conferences, be sure to take care of yourself.
Take a day or two off after the conference ends and make sure you catch up on your rest. Take some time away from drinking if you’re a drinker, focus on hydration and eat an obscene amount of fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system.
2) Follow up with new contacts
Once you’re good and healthy, one of the first things you should do when back in the office is send a follow-up note to every person you collected a business card from at the conference.
Send the note even if you can’t imagine ever doing business with this person or their company because, well, you never know. These contacts will be more likely to remember you in the future if you reach out straight after meeting in person at a conference.
One last thing- send a personalized note to each contact, avoid a mass message.
3) Organize your business cards
If you’re anything like me, after you reach out to your new contacts, you’re tempted to toss your newly collected business cards into a drawer with lots of other business cards from lots of other conferences.
Find a way to organize your cards whether its an using an old fashioned rolodex, an app, some other fancy software, or simply organizing them by conference, sector or alphabetical order so you can actually find the card when you need it in the future.
4) Submit Expenses
Next thing you want to do is submit those expenses. As painful as it may be, most of us don’t have PAs that will sort through a jungle of receipts in various currencies (and sometimes different languages) and trust me, its much easier to do when you remember what the receipts are actually for.
A good thing to do is to write down what each taxi ride was for on the receipt as soon as the driver hands it to you. Do the same for meal receipts by writing down who were you with, what you discussed and why you picked up the bill- this way you won’t have to rack your brains when justifying charges on your expense form.
5) Share findings with management
If you’re not already required to do so, write up a “trip report” of sorts, outlining all the deals you secured, the new contacts you made, trends you picked up, things you learned in the sessions- really anything justifying your company’s money to send you to these conferences.
On that note, another tip to keep in mind is if you’re going to use Facebook, its fine to check-in at fancy restaurants and post pictures of your late night festivities, but also include some nice shots and intelligent comments from the conference floor.
If your social media profiles depict one wild party with your industry friends during conferences, your company may think that’s all you’re doing on their dime, even if its not true.
6) Make a list of what impressed you
There is always one company with the best booth, a mind-blowing presentation delivered by an outstanding speaker, a giveaway you wish you had thought of yourself, a restaurant that surpassed all expectations.
All of these things you must write down and reference the next time a conference comes around. Use this list for future booth ideas, restaurant bookings, marketing plans and catch that outstanding speaker during their next presentation.