NACLB 2021 is quickly and quietly approaching, and after the last year and a half of zoom meetings and virtual conferences, it is no secret that this in person event, in such a desirable location, is exactly what we all need. Sure, it has been made clear that much of what we’ve always done, can be done just as effectively in a remote setting, there are some things that just will never be the same unless they’re done face to face. 

Networking and learning are some of those things. 

From the start, attendees of the NACLB will experience an interactive marketing seminar, offering insightful conversations and tangible strategies to increase your online presence and build your referral network. Attendees will have the ability to ask questions and learn from experts about how certain types of digital marketing can be used to their advantage, depending on whether you’re a broker or a lender. Following the marketing seminar will be exhibit hall hours and an opening cocktail event which precedes an after party, all of which are excellent networking opportunities. The second and third day of the conference will be full of breakout sessions, more exhibit hall hours, cocktail events and our annual poker tournament, plus, of course, our keynote speech, delivered by Sugar Ray Leonard. The conference is specifically designed for attendees to gain knowledge, ask questions, build connections, acquire some inspiration, and even have some fun. The best way to achieve all of the above is to understand exactly what’ll be taking place, so each attendee can clearly map out what their plan of attack is and what they’ll need to be successful.

The mistake the NACLB team has seen its attendees make over the years, though, is the lack of preparation and strategy before they land. Not knowing which breakout session to attend, not knowing what they’re looking to learn, and overall not having an objective. This year, we’re doing everything we can to make sure you’ve got what you need, and that you’re prepared with a plan before you arrive.

We can’t tell you how many times attendees have approached the conference staff throughout the three day event, asking for assistance on how to download the application, what time and where certain events are taking place, or our personal favorite — if we have a phone charger. While we certainly do love to help out in any way we can, it is no secret that each of these things absolutely should be taken care of prior to the event. Therefore, we’ve broken down each of the basic principles we want you to add to your conference playbook, so that once you’re there, it’s all networking and all learning, all the time. 

Set Yourself Up For Success

In the weeks leading up to the conference, make sure that your team and your clients (if applicable) are aware that you’ll be out of office, with limited availability to hop on a call or answer a lengthy email. The conference is packed with opportunities to network and learn at all times, and having to step outside to hop on a call or head back to your room to answer emails doesn’t exactly align with the goals of why you’ve attended the conference in the first place. You want to maximize your time while you’re there, so that you can maximize the results you achieve when you return. To do that, make sure your days at Caesars are uninterrupted and without distractions. Be sure also that you’ve scheduled deadlines in accordance with when you’ll be out of office, and don’t forget to turn your auto responder on. This way, you’ll have the ability to remain present at the conference, fully immersing yourself in each activity and each opportunity to expand and learn.

Download The App & Study The Website

The app is available long before the conference begins, so take care of downloading it, do some exploring, become comfortable with its functionality, and have your notifications turned on. This will allow you, first, to not need to take time out of your day to ask a conference staff member to help you get yourself set up, and then need to spend time learning how to use it. Be sure to create your attendee profile, which can and will serve as your digital business card. You’ll be able to see every attendee that is registered, connect with other attendees, and set meetings. These meetings will even show up on your personal conference schedule. Therefore, having yourself completely set up before you start making connections will allow for a smooth experience when it comes to communicating with and setting up meetings with new connections. You’ll even have the ability to virtually shake hands with people you meet, automatically connecting you on the app!

Identify What You’re There For & Make A Plan

Take a long hard look at where you’re at and what you’re looking for. If you’re a broker, determine what specifically you are looking to learn, and what types of lenders you’d be interested in connecting with. If you’re a lender, also understand what you’re looking to learn (as well as what you’re looking to teach), in addition to the types of brokers you’re looking to meet. Once you’ve identified specifically what your objectives are, take a look at the conference schedule and plan accordingly. Take a deep dive and do some research on the speakers as well as the sponsors. Who is offering a product you may be interested in? What breakout sessions could solve some issues you’re experiencing? Who are the speakers in that breakout session? Could you benefit from setting up a one on one meeting with one of those speakers? These are all questions that should be asked prior to the conference, so that you can stay on track with what you came to achieve once you arrive.

Follow Up 

In the NACLB’s case, what happens in Vegas should not stay in Vegas. It is imperative that you nurture the relationships you’ve made, by following up and continuing to connect with those who you’ve now formed a mutually beneficial relationship with. Once you’ve met some great people and learned some important tools, take the time to look over your notes and any conference materials you’ve acquired. Also, connect on LinkedIn with folks you’d like to keep in touch with, and set some follow up calls to continue any conversations you may have started. 

NACLB 2021 is here to provide you with the springboard you need to come back swinging post-pandemic, and adding these elements to your playbook will allow you to do just that.