JVZoo's annual live event, Marketing Mayhem, brings together affiliate marketers, digital marketers, and content creators who sell through JVZoo. Just as with other live events I've attended, there were things I really liked and others I didn't like.
I've participated in dozens of events and I've come to notice that some participants get so caught up in what they don't like that they lose any benefit of attending. It's easy to fall into judging the event by what you like or are comfortable with rather than jumping in and seeing what you can gain even if you are outside of your comfort zone.
For me, attending Marketing Mayhem was a great exercise in letting go of expectations that things run perfectly. It was also an eye-opener to understanding and accepting the culture of big-time affiliate marketers. At this live event I was an outsider, knowing few people and not being a well-known affiliate marketer myself. I could have been negative about things I didn't particularly like:
- The agenda was not available ahead of time or even during the event.
- Start times changed often, with one day not starting until lunch!
- Speaker names were available for the day but not the topic they would be speaking on.
- Some speakers were given almost 2 hours but others with excellent content had less than 30 minutes.
- The speakers were almost entirely male, as if no female digital marketers exist who are successful enough to be considered as speakers.
Sad to say, I've noticed that women attendees at these types of “testosterone” conferences sometimes gather together and spend time talking about all the negative points, and end up getting almost no good – they withdraw and really don't jump in to participate. They'd rather sit on their moral high horse of “what should be” rather than setting aside their discomfort and their judging. I've felt myself going down that road before. It's a waste of opportunity and keeps you in a negative energy.
The truth is, women often come to live events as good students who want to sit, take notes, and learn content. Some live events, Marketing Mayhem specifically, are really not best used as places to learn content. They are for networking, which is why at any given hour there were just as many people outside the meeting room as inside. People were meeting each other, cementing friendships, and doing deals.
My rule of thumb for live events is that newbies and the less successful take copious notes and those who are crushing it spend their time meeting in the hallways.
So here are my tips for making the most of the live events you attend:
- Role with the punches and don't expect perfection or that things will go as you would have done them.
- Don't attend for the content. Attend for the networking and cementing relationships.
- Push yourself to join in groups that you don't know – get outside your comfort zone.
- Approach everyone with a smile and a firm handshake, even if you think they are a “star” or above you.
- Be prepared to succinctly say who you are, what you do, and why you are attending. Be up front about being out of your element or a newbie – people like to help.
- Don't huddle with the few people you know because that's where you are comfortable.
The chance to meet guys who are very successful and knowledgable in this industry was the best part of Marketing Mayhem. I can focus on that or sit around and whine about the parts I didn't like. Which is going to do me more good? Which keeps me in a positive and forward moving energy?
Getting caught in perfection and wanting an event to roll in a way that doesn't make you uncomfortable means you are more interested in controlling the situation than learning from it. Let go of what peeves you and see what you can create. That's how to get the most out of the live events you attend.