My second Inman Connect is in the books as well as my second in Start-Up Alley. As many of you know, it’s been just over a year since I launched AM Open House and we have made amazing progress so far. This Inman was a completely different experience than #ICNY.
Coming in with a different confidence than last Connect and knowing I would be on stage on New Kids on the Block was amazing for me. The first day was filled with conversations from new people and those who I had met just a few months prior. Some of these conversations were with people that I had only interacted with online and we finally met IRL (In Real Life) – which was just as amazing.
Day two was the big day, it was my time to be on stage. With the conference running a bit behind schedule and my practicing the same 30 second pitch over and over for days, I knew I had it. Then it happened, Two lines in, #boom. What was that line again?
Well they say, it’s not always how you start, it’s how you finish. Recovery, right? Lets start this over and get it done right! That’s what happened. While I walked away upset with myself it became clear it wasn’t as bad as I thought (I saw the video, I think it could have been worse!), plus how often does Brad Inman put his arm around someone on stage?
After I was off stage, I didn’t look at anyone, speak with anyone, I just went straight back to the booth and took the Tiger Woods method. Take a few steps and forget that ever happened. Almost immediately I got a few emails and texts saying it was great, and that people will always remember my great recovery!
Looking back it was quite a humbling moment for me. For anyone who knows me personally or professionally, you know I am not one to be shy or to stop talking. Whether in front of a crowd, or one on one, it’s hard for me to feel uncomfortable. This moment was one of the few times, in a long time, I can remember feeling defeated, even for a mere moment. But I am proud of how it all ended, and if you were one of the people who came to say I did great, I truly appreciate it!
As the days continued on, we made an unbelievable amount of connections with brokers, agents, MLS providers, vendors and more. I make the joke to people I meet that I did 6 trade shows leading up to ICNY, and I will never do another major one after being here. The experience is completely different than anything a vendor can possibly be at. When people are not there for the swag (except our amazing sunglasses), and they genuinely want to know how you can help their business, you know you are in the right place. We signed a few brokerages by the time our flight took off on Friday night and we hope to sign many more in the coming weeks!
Thank you to everyone who makes ICSF possible and thank you to everyone who made it so memorable.
PS – If you’re a vendor, please read below.
Follow Up – Don’t wait for the week to end to get your follow up done. Get it done today. There is no more wasted time than yesterday and tomorrow. It doesn’t matter when you are reading this, there is a crazy statistic at most conferences that less than half of all attendees get followed up with. Send an email, make a call, just do something to let people know you were happy to meet them! This conference is about relationships, not just business. Everyone you met and who met you has an impression of you and your company, so make it a good one. Also, follow up with other vendors. You may not have an opportunity to work together today, but you don’t know what will happen in the next six months.
Future Connects – Do it! I was happy to have the opportunity to do both ICNY and ICSF in the same year. It created a great amount of momentum for us and it was great to be a part of it all. I’ll be a Connect Attendee as long as I can be just based on the connections I have made alone. This conference is unlike any other you will ever attend or exhibit at.
Thank You – To all the vendors who took the time to speak with me in regards to my product, your product, and how we could possibly integrate, I truly appreciate it. I wish you all an amazing Q3 and Q4 of 2015!