It’s always an exciting week when the SES Conference & Expo comes to New York. The search and social marketing event is the place to learn about all things digital marketing.
From networking events and cocktail hours to topnotch education and a packed expo hall, SES NYC has it all.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to glean great pieces of knowledge at the conference.
If you want to get the most out of SES, you have to take the right approach. Here are five mistakes to avoid if you’re attending this week:
1. Not knowing your goals.
What do you want to accomplish during SES? It helps to jot down specific goals about topics you want to learn more about and questions you want to ask. The conference runs through Thursday, so try to set two to four goals a day. Then, get your conference on and hold yourself accountable for your goals.
2. Skipping out on networking events.
SES is a prime opportunity to chat with like-minded professionals, get your name out there and get to know others. Don’t stay holed up in your hotel room—make plans to attend those dinners, parties and breakfasts. Try to connect with people you don’t know, and remember: Networking is about listening and exchanging. Genuinely listen and then add something useful to the conversation.
3. Trying to commit it all to memory.
SES is chockfull of colorful experiences and ideas. It’s impossible to recount it all when you’re back in the office, so take a moment to write down the lessons. It could be a useful nugget learned after an education session. Or perhaps it was a tidbit mentioned by a colleague at lunch. The goal is to learn from each experience at SES NYC.
4. Checking in on work.
It’s a four-day conference—you don’t need to constantly be on e-mail and calling into meetings. If that was the case, you could have stayed at the office to work. Delegate what you can and tackle the rest when you get back. To maximize your SES experience, forget work while you’re here and focus on the digital marketing lessons at hand.
5. Forgetting to bring business cards.
You can’t expect people to remember you if you have nothing tangible to leave behind. Bring those business cards to SES every day. Even better if you bring small promotional products to hand out—think pens, magnets or USB drives.
As with all conferences, you get out of SES New York what you put into it. Don’t muck things up by committing these SES blunders.