We all want to succeed at what we do, whether it be skeet shooting, mountain climbing, or attending a trade show or industry event. Some people succeed because of the life and relationships they were born into. Others prosper by luck; being in the right place at the right time. Still others get ahead with hard work, long hours, and extreme dedication. The only one of these scenarios we have control of is the third, and there are proven strategies to enhance the outcome. That’s why I am sharing the “5 P’s” – Plan, Prep, Proceed, Process and then Ponder, that I strive to follow, and hope they can make a positive difference for you too.

Plan. The benefits of planning are well known, but finding the time to do it can still get in the way. Experience has taught me it’s best to spend time up front and document. Get the mundane out of the way by booking travel arrangements early on, for example. To simplify and organize goals, break them into categories. Next, layout specific and measurable objectives in each category. Record your intentions using a simple one-page form.

Prep. Now that goals are identified it’s time to prep for success. Do research in each of the categories. Identify people to meet with, reach out early to set up meetings, and confirm before traveling.

Perhaps you’re attending ISC West 2017; give the “P’s” a try and share your results.

Proceed. Head to the event feeling confident and well-prepared. Refer to your objectives at least once a day to make sure the plan is being followed. Don’t forget to have some fun along the way; enjoy dinner out or take in a show.

Process. When time allows, but thoughts are still fresh in your memory, review what you’ve learned. Do this while at the event, possibly on your way home, or during the days immediately following. Document the results of your plan, search for insights, and award yourself a success rating on a 1-7 scale.

Ponder. Now it’s time to assess what you’ve learned. Check out the sample form filled out after the CES show, and see how the results inspired various business decisions. Another action involved creating a group of six non-competing companies meeting monthly to share experiences and develop shared best practices.

If in the past your planning followed similar practices but they’ve fallen by the wayside, follow these simple steps and they will make a big difference. Drop me an email at helen@bedrocklearning.com, and I’m happy to send you this simple spreadsheet. Perhaps you’re attending ISC West 2017; give the “P’s” a try and share your results.