How to get noticed at a conference

This post was inspired by #pbevent and my own experiences there. Having said that, not all the following suggestions directly happened to me but some of them definitely did!

If you happen to try any of these out at a future conference, please let me know how you go – I’d love to use case studies in a future post 😉

So when you are at a conference, for which you (and hundreds of others) have paid a small fortune to attend, you want to get your money’s worth.

You want to get noticed, particularly if there are other attendees or presenters that you are DYING to meet.

So, because I’m generous and kind and all that, I’ve put together 5 foolproof ways to get noticed at your next conference.

Trust me* – they work 🙂

How to get noticed at a conference -

Attend with an obvious injury or gain one while you are there

I had not tried this one before but having a “broken knee” (in reality a ruptured ACL & mild fracture which turned out to be bone bruising) at Problogger definitely helped break the ice this time around.

Compression socks for ACL injury -

Rocking my “sexy” compression stockings after a long day of networking at Problogger 2015

Obviously you attract the sympathy factor “oh, you poor thing, what have you done?”

And the respect factor “you still came WITH a broken knee? You rock!”

Not to mention the memorable factor “yes, you won’t miss me, I’m the one with the limp.”

In a sea of many, standing out in some way definitely pays off in spades. Although I could have taken it further when the Problogger team tweeted me to see if there was anything they could do to help me. I was tempted to tweet back “free tickets for next year” but I thought better of it.

It’s not fun having principles sometimes…

Now, all is not lost if you don’t attend with an obvious injury, because there’s always time to gain one while you are there.

The talk of the morning following the networking event was the news that a blogger had broken their toe on the dance floor.

See? Instant notice and attention.

N.B. This approach does work but it requires full commitment and some pain and discomfort so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Get drunk at the networking party and still rock it at the following day’s sessions

Anyone can get drunk at a networking party. It’s sort of a rite of passage, isn’t it?

Scene from the networking event at Problogger conference -

A scene from the networking event at Problogger 2015

Obviously you can become memorable for all the wrong reasons – dodgy drunken dancing, spilling your drink on an overseas presenter, falling into the pool, getting into a heated argument that turns ugly or trying to come onto all and sundry. This is not ideal but if you are clever (and brazen) you can ride it out, laugh it off and be ultimately dubbed a good sport.

Clearly getting drunk is not a guaranteed tactic for success.

However, not everyone can come back the next day and command the respect of their peers by attending a full day of sessions with good humour, nausea and hangover in check.

It’s a skill and it will get noticed.

Wear something outrageous or completely unique

We tried this approach at #pbevent 2014 and it was a complete success. In our case we only used this approach at the networking event but you could push this and employ this tactic throughout the entire conference.

It involves being creative with your wardrobe and using colour, pattern, vibrancy, creativity and courage to innovate your look and draw admiration from your peers.

At the Ahoy! networking event we took the theme very seriously and dressed up as a navy pinup girl and a sailor. It just happened that we had the costumes already in our wardrobe and as it was our first Problogger we wanted to make an impression. And we did. Random strangers came up and introduced themselves to us and complimented us on our look.

Sailors Ahoy!

Going the extra mile paid BIG dividends at Problogger 2014

All the hard work was done for us – all we had to do was smile and continue the conversation.

It’s the same if you employ this technique for the conference as a whole. Being unique draws attention like moths to a flame.

Own it. And they will come.

Grow a beard

Okay, so this is not for the ladies (unless you are unusually hirsute and happy to let it all hang out there, then by all means go for it!)

But my husband swears by this. If you have a serious beard you will get noticed.

Nathan's Beard -

I’ll let you be the judge – is this beard impressive?

Last year, he struck up conversation with fellow beard afficianado Rand Fishkin when they met in an elevator and exchanged compliments on their facial hair.

This year, he again attracted attention for his impressive beard. It’s not hard, especially if the ratio of male to female is seriously out of whack (I believe it was like 50:700 at this year’s event).

So if you are a guy, looking to make an impression, don’t underestimate the power of the beard.

For it is indeed a powerful thing.

Bring along a cute baby

This may require the most planning and preparation but, having witnessed this first hand a few times over, IT WORKS.

Bring along a baby. Preferably a cute newborn who sleeps well, feeds well and is happy to be passed from conference attendee to conference attendee.

Me with an irresistible baby -

See? I would have had the ultimate conference accessory five years ago!

Even better, have your partner or a carer on hand to look after the baby in sessions (so you can concentrate) and have them bring the cuteness back in for each break.

There is nothing more powerful than a beautiful baby. They are a true people magnet.

N.B. This technique is something you need to consider very carefully as it is a lifelong commitment. Unless you borrow a baby. Then you just need to remember to look after it properly…

What foolproof tips can you add to get noticed at your next conference?

Linking up in these lovely places:

Flog Yo Blog Friday

Things I Know

Weekend Rewind

The Ultimate Rabbit Hole

* I take no personal responsibility for any consequences that may arise from taking this clearly tongue in cheek advice!

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24 Responses

  1. I wish I’d read this list of pointers before I attended #PBevent this year! Clearly, I was totally ill-informed and very naive! No baby, no injury, no outrageous outfit, no getting drunk, no beard. Promise I’ll do better next time! 😉 x
    Min@WriteoftheMiddle recently posted..The story of a sea change

  2. Fairlie says:

    I echo Min’s comments…I wish I’d read this before I went! Next year I’ll go for the outrageous outfit, and drunk options…which may well end up in the injury as well. Given this approach, it would probably NOT be wise for me to borrow a baby.

    Great, fun post! (Came via #FYBF)
    Fairlie recently posted..Show the world your home town with the #feetonmyhometown Instagram Challenge

  3. I tend to (inadvertently) do all the wrong things at conferences and networking events and get noticed without even really trying. I still can’t believe you traveled with a broken leg. As I’ve said before, I think you need some serious brownie points and a free pass for next year.
    Raych aka Mystery Case recently posted..TPFF2015 – Wait a minute let me take you there…

  4. LOL, not sure I want to be sporting an injury to be noticed! That being said it was how I recognised you in the lift at PB!
    stephanie@stephsjoy recently posted..Banana & Coconut Loaf

  5. Hahaha this gave me such a giggle! And yes, total respect for attending with an injury! I may not grow a beard… but more than happy to bring a cute baby along!
    Lucy @ Bake Play Smile recently posted..3 Deliciously Simple Recipes Using Wraps

  6. So I was doing it all wrong! No injury, no drunken debauchery, no baby, no outrageous outfit and no beard, although doesn’t my lady lip moustache count?! Bahaha! I’ll work on the beard for next year! Hope you’re healing up nicely! xx
    Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid recently posted..She’s So Inspiring – Emily Hawker

    • Kirsty says:

      Hope to actually get to meet you (and your lady moustache!) next year Sammie – saw you a few times but I wasn’t quick enough to say hello.

      I’m sore and sorry at the moment but I head back to the surgeon Tuesday – hoping to get rid of the fugly brace and begin to reclaim my knee again!

  7. Interesting tips! I don’t know however whether I’d want to have an injury, grow a beard or have another baby and there’s no way I recover quickly anymore after getting drunk (why do we lose this ability once we hit our 40s?) I guess I’ll have to go with the outrageous costume at the next conference I attend!
    Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life recently posted..BeautyHeaven’s Best In Beauty Market Place Event

    • Kirsty says:

      Yes, all these tips are a little hardcore Ingrid. I think I may join you in wearing an outrageous costume next time around – definitely the easier tip of the bunch!

  8. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind 😉 I particularly like the injury. Attention and people feeling sorry for me and waiting on me. Win! Win! Win!

    • Kirsty says:

      It’s definitely a winning combination Jodi. You just need to be prepared to pay the price – as my daughter helpfully told me, luxury comes with pain!!!

  9. Oh man. I wanna go to PB next year purely to meet people and socialise but I have put zero thought into this, it seems! 🙂
    Amy @ handbagMafia recently posted..A New Minister for Women?

  10. I fall into the boozy chatterbox category that makes it her follow up mission to make it through the entire next day. Work hard, play hard. Oh PB was so fun but also so fast! I can’t wait till next year.
    Karin @ Calm to Conniption recently posted..The Ultimate Rabbit Hole #36: Dark days are over!

  11. These are brilliant! Looking back, having the cocktail party around the pool could have been a recipe for disaster!! Thank goodness I hadn’t drunk very much at that point. Falling in the pool would definitely be memorable!
    Kirralee @ Escape With Kids recently posted..Top 5 packing essentials for staying well on holiday

  12. Grace says:

    Haha! Great pointers. I remember when I first met you and your husband at last year’s PBevent and was enamoured by his beard! LOL! Hope you’re well and truly on the road to recovery, my dear x
    Grace recently posted..FYBF – Taking a punt

    • Kirsty says:

      His beard truly is impressive Grace! I’m off to the surgeon for my post-op appointment tomorrow so hoping he’ll confirm my recovery – I just want to be rid of my brace and start to walk properly again!

  13. Haha … yeah I’m not THAT committed to being noticed! When Bec the Plumbette brought baby Phoebe last year, I couldn’t help but notice what a great ice breaker it was!
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted..The Downside of the Perfect Child

    • Kirsty says:

      Bringing a baby is possibly the most powerful icebreaker ever – sadly I will never be committed enough to do that myself but I will gladly cuddle and adore all the others that I see!

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