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Rohit Bhargava–one of my favorite bloggers–kicked off our Digital Marketing Mixer with his advice for getting the most ROI out of a conference.


Have a mantra. Tell your story in a few brief words–Bhargava's is that "personality matters." How do you describe yourself during a 30-second introduction?
Meet your rockstars. Sometimes it's tough–they might disappear right after they finish speaking–but if they're the reason you came to an event, make an effort by strategizing ahead of time.
Take better notes. Even if you're not doing a running commentary on Twitter, thinking in microblogging terms can help you zero in on what really matters.
Follow the backchannel. There's a lot of benefit in seeing how others interpreted the event. It adds some context, and highlights things you might have missed.
Be approachable. If you create a barrier around yourself–say, by staring at your Blackberry and appearing disinterested–you won't have get much out of an event's networking opportunities. Looking cool and standing in the corner gets you nowhere.
Follow up. That stack of business cards gives you the chance to build a relationship with the people you've met.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christian Gulliksen is a writer who has authored several of the Get to the Po!nt newsletters for MarketingProfs. A former editor at Robb Report, he has also contributed to Worth, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.