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Tawnya Sutherland

What Business Conferences are you attending in the near future?

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I thought I'd share the business conferences I'm attending in the next few months. Who knows, maybe they will be of interest to you too.

 

If you decide to go to any of them, please contact me so we can meetup and hang out :)

 

November 21-23, 2013 SEO Braintrust 2013

 

February 7-9, 2014 The NAMS Workshop

April 29 – May 2, 2014 IVAA Live Summit

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Mena, yes, really looking forward to SEO Braintrust as that one is in my niche. I just signed up for their VIP Google Penalty program too. I will let you know if it is something of value once I get through it ;)

 

As for the IVAA Summit, I truly believe this is the one and only conference all VAs should not miss if you have the opportunity to go to it. I even know a VA who went to it from Venezuela (yes, she couldn't afford it either at the time but saved and saved to finally attend) and her business has grown from $0 to huge bucks because of her attendance at it. I can't stress enough how much we should budget into our marketing plans to attend conferences to help grow your business. Mine never started growing until I started attending and networking at them :)

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Braintrust sounds totally interesting Tawnya! Some good speakers too it looks like.

 

I just got back from a Bob Proctor event, and next ones are IVAA Summit in April (PS they just launched registration contest to win back reg fee if you sign up by Nov 20) and eWomen next August... There may be another mixed in.

 

I believe in finding conferences that help you grow, but also ones where you can network with potential clients while learning.

 

First conference for VAs I went to was FoVA in 2009 and that's where I met Tawnya - I also have tracked more than 50,000 income and 5 really good friends 10 + more friends and all traced back to that one conference that cost me a total of $1500 in travel hotel and food/ fees. . Priceless.

 

Conferences grow business. period.

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Kathy, cool that you tracked your first conference and could see the returns and benefits from attending it!

 

So glad to have went to that conference and to have gotten to meet you, work with you and now have you as a dear friend :)

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I plan to go to Doreen Rainey's conference "Get Radical" in March, IVAA in April/May and eWomen in August.

 

I absolutely love going to VA events and wouldn't miss IVAA (especially since it's Vegas and that is on my bucket list).

 

This year I decided to start a budget for conferences outside of the VA world as well. Places where my clients will be. The Return on Investment (ROI) is huge at these conferences and you make so many valuable connections and most importantly the quality of the speakers is second to none.

 

When I am deciding on a conference I consider a few things:

 

1. What is the potential ROI (will potential clients be there, will I make connections that may know my potential clients, are there topics that I am interested in learning about, but that will give me new skills in my business)

2. What is my goal going in (build relationships, learn a new skill, listen to motivating speakers, etc.) that will have the biggest impact on me and my business right now.

 

It has only really been this past year that I have ventured outside the VA world, but before that I concentrated on VA events because my budget was much smaller. As a new Virtual Assistant I told myself I didn't need to attend these conferences or I couldn't "afford" to go. After attending my first conference I realized I couldn't afford not to go.

 

I made so many connections with other VAs and the thing I forgot is that these VAs are in front of my potential clients too. Not every VA is going to be a good fit for a potential client and because I went to these events and made a good impression on my VA colleagues they began to refer the people that weren't a good fit for them to me. I quickly started gaining business, experience and saw a good Return on Investment.

 

On the flip side I am now the person going to these events looking to make connections for potential referrals as my business is full.

 

Networking in person is so important and as Virtual Assistants we are all guilty of "hiding" behind our computers from time to time and forgetting that.

 

Okay sorry to have jumped up on my soap box and I will stop preaching now about why I think conferences are so important!

 

Tawnya, I can't wait to see you again this Spring and we will have to do Vegas right and do some sight seeing just as we did in Memphis!!

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LOL Yvonne, enjoyed listening to you on your "soapbox" ;)

 

If you need reasons to attend IVAA or any conference for that matter, watch this video that Yvonne and Desiree presented on attending conferences.

 

WATCH VIDEO HERE

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Totally agree that investing in conferences is something we should all be doing. Even if you can't get to the biggies, there are always face to face networking events which are free or very low cost.

 

I recently had someone I met at an affiliate marketing conference 2 years ago call me. She said she'd seen my posts on LinkedIn and now she's a client. :)

 

I'm very selective about the events I do attend though. They need to be relevant to me, my growth and to what I'm trying to achieve -- as you all know, time is so precious. Generalist business conferences don't do it for me. I love networking with fellow techies, techie VAs and Internet marketers because that brings about opportunities to learn and to collaborate on projects. They are definitely my people as I feel at home amongst all that geekery lol. It's always good to have a bank of coders/programmers as your buddies, well, in my field anyway. They've helped me out whenever I've been stuck.

 

I'm also an active member of a few MeetUp groups - some are to meet others in my industry and other groups are where my potential clients hang out.

 

I just love the whole social thing really because I'm very outgoing anyway. But getting phone calls from people you've met who want to work with you is just the icing on the cake!

Edited by Mena
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I have to agree with everyone about attending conferences. I've met a ton of great people. My first conference was in Dallas where I met Tawnya, Terry Green, Sally Kuhlman, and a ton of others. I made some very close relationships at that conference. I consider a number of those people my very dear friends. I've gained valuable experience and have also gained at least one client from each of these conferences. Yes, my target market is VAs but I've also had referrals that lead to non-VA clients.

 

I'm definitely going to go to the IVAA Summit and really look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. The line-up of speakers is awesome for 2014. There's going to be a lot of hands-on sessions, which I really like.

 

Can't wait to see everyone!

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I've been far out of the loop this year with my back surgery recovery. I did attend a personal conference last month and had a great time (it was for weight loss surgery paitients - was great to go and be one of the big success stories!)

 

Right now, the only one on my radar is the VA League Retreat in Orlando in February. Really excited for that one. It's always very small, but so much gets done by everyone there, such a tight knit group. I'm looking forward to working on the goal I've already decided to work on while there. BUT I'm also REALLY excited to get into that heated spa and pool and chill out a bit.

 

Other than that, that's all I have for sure coming up. I will probably fly out to Idaho to have a weekend meeting with my business manager at some point after the retreat so we can go over things.

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