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Top 10 ways to make the most of ABN Conference 2016

We've provided you with some tips below to help you ensure you get the absolute most out of our conference!

Before the event

1. Get Pitch Perfect.

No, not the movie. The elevator pitch.

You’re about to network with a few hundred industry peers—chances like that don’t come along too often. So nail that pitch! (Or crush it, if you’re a fan of Fat Amy.)

2. Stalk your speakers.

Okay, maybe don’t stalk them.

But at least get to know them by watching some videos (like below) or following them on social media. It will give you an idea of what to expect, and you may even come up with some great questions to ask them after their session.

Think of it like preparing for a music festival by listening to the bands beforehand—it’s way more fun when you know the tunes and can sing along.

TEDx talk by Paul Dunn
ABN Conference welcome video from Paul Dunn
ABN Conference welcome video from Clayton Oates

3. Connect with fellow attendees.

No need to wait until the day… Start connecting with your fellow attendees now through The Bookkeeper Event app. You can post publicly on ABN’s social pages or use the private message function to connect behind the scenes.

This is particularly good advice for attendees who are flying solo—make connections and friends before you even get to the event!

During the event

4. Keep your name tag off your navel.

Here’s a neat trick: if the lanyard is too long for you, tie a knot in it behind your neck. That way people won’t have to look at your navel for your name.

5. Speak up.

Many speakers will invite questions from the audience at the end of their session. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and speak up—you may be giving a voice to someone who isn’t quite as courageous as you.

On that note, try to make your question relevant to other attendees. Broader, more general questions will be more relevant to others than highly specific, personal questions.

6. Listen up.

Don’t worry about trying to capture what’s on the presentation slides—we’ll be sending copies of the slides out after the event. Instead, focus on listening to the speaker. If you take notes, they should come from what you hear, not what you see.

7. Use business cards as note cards.

After you’ve exchanged business cards with a new contact, write a note on their card that will help you recall the conversation later on. You’ll be amazed at how just a few words can prompt your memory.

After the event

8. Don’t skip the social functions.

After a long conference day, you may be tempted to skip the Friday or Saturday night functions.


These are your best opportunities to connect. People are more relaxed, and there’s always plenty to talk about (your favourite speakers, the exhibitors you’ve seen, etc.).

So stick around for the social stuff—you’ll be glad you made the effort.

9. Remember those business cards? Use them.

Don’t wait until you need something to make contact with your new associates/friends. Shoot them an email or give them a call within a week of the event. Let them know it was nice to meet them and you hope to do business or meet up for a coffee soon.

10. Get cracking.

The very best way to get the most out of your conference experience is to start putting to use what you’ve learned STRAIGHT AWAY. All too often we return to our offices full of enthusiasm, only to get swept away by the whirlwind of daily life again.

As soon as you return to work, pick out one thing you can action immediately and get cracking. You don’t need to do everything at once—you just need to do enough to keep the momentum rolling.

‘I think a simple rule of business is: if you do the things that are easier first,
then you can actually make a lot of progress.’

—Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook)


29 Sep 2016
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