The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

01 Jul

How to Get More Out of the I.B.M. Convention

Category: Convention   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK

 With the I.B.M. Annual Convention beginning July 2, let's consider some of the things you can do to get more from your INVESTMENT in this (or any) convention:



1.  NETWORK LIKE CRAZY. Go up to total strangers and INTRODUCE YOURSELF. The more people you meet the more OPPORTUNITIES you will create which benefit you.


2.  BRING LOTS OF BUSINESS CARDS and pass them out to everyone you meet. (And be sure to ask THEM for one of THEIR cards, too. Write a several-word description of each person on the back of their card, and a couple of words that you talked about.


3.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Read about the speakers, about the subjects of sessions, etc. in advance to get more out of each session. They are written up in the printed convention program. You could even look them up on the Internet on your smart phone.The more you know, the better prepared you will be.


4.  TAKE LOTS OF NOTES: keep a notebook and two pens (they DO run out of ink) in your pocket at all times. Write down anything which you want to remember later. Don’t trust your memory. Too much information is coming at you too quickly. At least write down major points and words to jog your memory later.


5.  PICK UP AND BRING BACK ALL HANDOUTS: If there are take-aways at sessions, be sure to get them and bring them home. (you can always recycle them later when you get home if you don’t want to keep them.) Go to the rooms where there were OTHER sessions you could not get to (because they were going on at the same time), and if there are handouts, get these, too.


6.  ASK INTELLIGENT QUESTION(S): Most sessions will have a Q&A session at the end. During the presentation, be thinking of one (or more) intelligent questions, and then raise your hand and ASK them. Whether anyone ELSE does it or not, STAND, say something like, “My name is Alex and I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. Then ask your question:


Other people will take note of your intelligence and bearing and boldness, etc. and will REMEMBER you. They will come up to you afterwards and want to meet you. They will tell you they were thinking that same thing and were glad you asked the question. They will ask for your card. Etc.


7.  INVEST YOUR TIME WISELY: Do not waste your time going to some movie or sitting alone in some bar having a drink. You are INVESTING your TIME and MONEY by going. MAXIMIZE both of these. And, as I read somewhere: NEVER EAT ALONE. When you are getting ready to go eat, ask someone else if they want to get a bite. If you go in the restaurant (or even in a banquet room) and see someone with a name badge on for your conference, ask “May I join you?” Not only might they be thankful you joined them, but who knows what it might lead to (offer of a job, invitation to come visit them on their ranch, come meet their daughter, etc.). Besides, if they would rather eat alone (or you can see them working on their laptop or reading papers), they will usually tell you they are catching up on some work, or would rather be alone. 


8.  WEAR YOUR NAME BADGE HIGH ON YOUR RIGHT SIDE: If it is a pin-on badge, pin it on your right side, high on your chest. You want people to see it when you are talking with them. If it is on a lanyard hanging around your neck, too often they hang low on your chest, or even on your stomach.  It is easy enough to tie a knot in the back so they hang higher on your chest, closer to your face. Help people connect your NAME and your FACE.


9.  DRESS WELL:  Many conferences will TELL you in the registration information that dress is “business casual” or “Coat and tie for the banquet,” etc. But it is always good to be prepared. ASKING the conference registrar before you leave makes sense. But it also is good to BE PREPARED. For instance, having one pair of nice slacks and a coordinated blazer would work for most occasions. Of course if the conference is at a RESORT, that suggests CASUALfor most events.


10.  DRESS IN LAYERS: You never know whether meeting rooms (and other spaces) are going to be too cool, too warm, etc. Each person has his or her own thermostat, too. So it is smart to throw in a sweater, windbreaker, etc. to put on (or take off) as the case may be. And often a banquet room will start off chilly, but will warm up as the room fills up with people, and they give off body heat and warming talk.





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