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How to Make Conferences Work for You

If you’re a private equity professional or a healthcare executive looking to develop relationships with private equity professionals, conferences are invaluable. However, just attending the conferences isn’t enough. Most conferences are a significant investment of time and money. To ensure that the investment pays off, you need to do your homework ahead of time, set some goals, and plan your time wisely. This allows you to take full advantage of everything a good conference has to offer.

Personally, I make it a priority to attend conferences regularly. Broadening and deepening relationships are an important part of our business, and conferences present unique opportunities to build relationships with like-minded professionals from all over the country.

But I’ve learned that—like anything else in business—a good strategy and execution keeps you from wasting time and money. I recommend taking some time to:

  • Do your research to ensure you’re attending the conferences that align most closely with your goals.

  • Develop some specific goals for each conference

  • Set yourself up for success by doing the necessary grunt work of outreach and meeting scheduling before you leave home.

Executives have their own unique reasons to attend conferences. In addition to learning more about the future of their industries, they benefit from the opportunity to develop relationships with private equity professionals. There are a lot of private equity firms out there, and executives can’t always figure out which private equity group would benefit from their expertise—let alone connect with them. Conferences are one of the best places for executives to meet and build relationships with private equity professionals.

How should you decide which conferences to attend? The bottom line is you should only attend conferences that are going to help you achieve your goals. How do you do this? Start by asking yourself some simple questions:

  • Who would I like to develop relationships with? In my case, these tend to be healthcare executives. I identify conferences that are likely to be attended by the executives I would like to meet and build relationships with.

  • What market segments am I interested in? Conferences can be the ideal place to dig into a new area of interest or opportunity. You’ll come away with a greater understanding of that market segment and with new connections to help you pursue it.

  • How can I best use my time? If all you do at a conference is go to sessions, then you may as well stay home and watch the videos online. The best use of your time at a conference is to organize small groups of like-minded individuals who will get together and discuss specific topics.

You don’t have that many opportunities to get a group of private equity professionals and healthcare executives together, but you will at a conference. This is your chance to have substantive conversations which focus on: “How can we work together to attack this opportunity?” not just: “Hey, I think there’s an opportunity here.”

Such conversations are the foundation of your business growth, but you can’t have them if you haven’t done your research ahead of time. Purposeful conference attendance demands a lot of prep work. If you don’t have the time to make the most of your conference attendance, you may want to consider building professional relationships in other ways.

At Bancroft Group, we’ve spent decades building relationships with private equity professionals and healthcare executives. Reach out today. We’ll be happy to discuss how we can help you make the connections you need to achieve your business goals.

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