Some of my best and most powerful conversations have happened at events where I arrived prior to the start time. The folks who are in the know that you need to know (i.e., the staff, speaker and hosts) get there well ahead of time - and you'll have an opportunity to make or re-make their acquaintance when you arrive in the window of time called "after the details are handled - before the people arrive."
As my southern husband would say, here's what you need to know to "get yourself situated:"
- Arrive at least 10-15 minutes early. You'll have the chance to catch your breath, bring down your heart rate, visit the loo, and grab a drink. You'll probably get a smokin' hot parking spot, too.
- Speak to the host. Find out who is on the guest list, and ask if there's anyone you should meet.
- Put your name tag on your left side. Paper name tags won't wrinkle and will be visible when you shake someone's hand.
- Silence your cell phone. Vibrate is fine if you must stay connected (I'm a mom, I get it), and you want to avoid being rude. Excuse yourself before you check to see who's calling.
- Smile (with teeth). Breathe. Have fun! The next person you meet could be just the person who changes the trajectory of your business forever.