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Entrecon Eve: What I wish I knew last year

Every year, the Studer Community Institute hosts EntreCon®, an annual signature business, leadership and entrepreneurship conference that offers leaders and their teams from across all industries an opportunity to grow together in downtown Pensacola.

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Two days jam packed with keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Just the word networking can feel intimidating to a lot of people. Especially if you’re new to Pensacola, a new entrepreneur or just a little shy in general.

As a second year attendee, I am feeling a little more prepared this year. What do I mean by that? I didn’t take advantage of what was right at my fingertips last year. Being adequately prepared will make for a more beneficial experience.

What I wish I knew last year:

Set clear goals. What do you want to achieve from attending? Do you want to learn specific leadership strategies, network with industry leaders, or gain inspiration? Setting clear goals will help you focus your efforts.

Plan your schedule. Review the conference agenda and plan which sessions and workshops align with your goals. Prioritize the sessions that will provide you with the most value and ensure that you have enough time to network with other attendees.

Just say hi. Now is the time to say hi! One of the main purposes of Entrecon is to network and build relationships. So, don’t be shy, walk up to event speakers and business leaders and introduce yourself.

Active listening. Now is not the time to forget someone’s name right after they tell you (although we will have name tags). Pay attention to what is being said, ask follow-up questions, and show genuine interest in your conversations. Take notes during the conference and review them each evening. This will help after the conference if you want to build on specific connections.

Take care of yourself. Conferences can be intense, and Entrecon is no exception. Don’t forget to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Get enough rest, stay hydrated, and don’t forget to eat on the lunch break.

Follow up after the conference: After the conference, follow up with the key connections you made. Follow them on LinkedIn or friend them on Facebook. This will keep your name and face fresh for future collaborations or questions you might have.

And of course have fun! Yes, be professional, but be you. Genuineness goes a long way. See you all tomorrow!

This year Entrecon will focus on “What’s Next?” We have been through a crazy time in the world of work these last several years. We’ve been challenged physically and mentally.

The way we think about life and work has changed and the way we are doing life and work has changed. As we struggle to make sense of all of this and figure out WHAT NEXT, we are in uncharted territory.

For more information on Entrecon click here.