Quash imposter syndrome and optimise the business opportunity

Mar 22, 2018 | Blog, Business Development

Attending a ‘World Leading’ Event can be very daunting.

Don’t let being a little fish in a big pond overwhelm you –  Gary Williams shares how he addressed his concerns and went prepared to optimise the opportunity.

I recently attended #MIPIM2018. It was my first time and I thought I would share some experiences and pass on some tips to anyone venturing to something similar and next year’s newbies.

Held at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes with over 24,000 visitors and more than 3000 exhibitors, Mipim (which I learnt stands for Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier) is the international property event of the year.

It is safe to say I felt some trepidation which only grew after booking…

‘Would it be worth it? (it’s expensive), a week away from work, would I meet the right people, how does a small business like mine find a ‘voice’?’ People were already teaming up – there was a whole contingency cycling down!!

Time to focus, follow my own Questas BD philosophy and prepare to address my concerns.

Preparation

Would I meet the right people? Well to meet them I had to tell them I was going. Using the database made available to registered visitors I created a realistic target list of people (around 50) I wanted to see and contacted them. I received several replies, some of which were “great, lets catch up when your there” plus a few who were happy to book a specific time.

Once I had a few meetings booked in advance, I looked at the list of speaker events and chose a couple that looked interesting leaving space in my diary to be flexible.  I was starting to feel better.

The Reality

The first meeting went very well which boosted my confidence and lead to an invite to an event later in the week!  I was off and running…. The realisation that everyone is there with similar objectives – to develop existing and to make new relationships was reassuring. Add to that the fact that most people I spoke to seemed to be interested in my ‘story’ it meant that my Imposter Syndrome was quickly quashed.

People were happy to introduce me to others and I was able to do the same for them.

Three days and a lot of coffee and croissants (plus the odd beer!) later I am very glad I made the decision to go.

My Event Takeaways

  • Reach out to people you want to see before the event. It settles nerves, gives you focus and even if they don’t connect beforehand there is a good chance they will have seen the request come in and will be primed if you do bump into them.
  • Don’t expect to stand still. The way I described it to someone was that you tend to ‘bounce’ from one event to the next and you have to be open to allowing things to develop that way.
  • Spend time with existing clients as well as looking for new. I was able to really develop relationships with some existing clients as I was getting to know them in a completely different environment.

Some practical tips for an event in Cannes

  • Stay within a 20min walk of the Palais if you can
  • Taking the train from Nice airport to Cannes saved about €100 each way!
  • The old town is lovely but restaurants are very busy and very expensive, better to try restaurants on the Quay-side.

What next?

You have returned from the event with a stash of business cards, it is time to follow up the good ones and managed to get a few meetings in the diary with some really interesting people from companies you’d like as clients… Make the most of these golden opportunities!

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