Here’s a few pointers for those in or heading to the NWCDC confab in Vegas.
1. Realize you can’t be everywhere and do everything. Prioritize.
2. Leave time for last-minute meetings and the inevitable chance meetings with old friends and colleagues.
3. Unless you have a photographic memory, use your smartphone to take voice notes from each meeting – right after you’re done. Otherwise they’ll all run together and you’ll never remember what you committed to.
4. Get the NWCDC app for your Droid or iPhone – there’s a web-based version too for tablets. It has the schedule, exhibit hall layout, local map, and a bunch of other handy information and tools.
5. Introduce yourself to a dozen people you’ve never met. This business is all about relationships and networking, and no better place to do that than this conference.
6. Wear comfortable shoes, get your exercise in, and be professional and polished. It’s a long three days, and you’re always ‘on’.
Finally, I’ll echo one of Sandy Blunt’s points – in these day of YouTube, phone cameras, Twitter and Google+, what you do is public knowledge. That slick dance move or intense conversation with a private equity exec just might re-appear – to your dismay.