How To Work A Conference Before It Starts

I am attending two conferences next month and I want to make the most of them. Marci Alboher gives some great tips on how to “pre-game” for a conference.



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Spend some time online. Visit the conference’s website and start studying the speaker list. If
the conference is using a social networking tool like Crowdvine to encourage
people to meet one another, take the time to fill out your profile
and see who else is attending. Find out the conference’s
Twitter hashtag
and start checking  Twitter to see if anyone is talking about it. If you’re active on LinkedIn or Facebook, mention that you’re going to the conference in your status update.

Email people in advance. Once you discover whom you want to meet or friends you want to meet up with, email
them to see if you can set up some for a coffee meeting.

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My advice: Make sure you have plenty of business cards and/or a Poken to connect with people once you are there at the conference.

How To Be An Industry Expert

Susan Payton posted an excellent primer on Mashable about how to be an industry expert in your business or profession. It doesn’t matter what the field; you can succeed if you do the homework.


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Being an expert in your field makes you the go-to person for your industry. There are many people that I trust inherently on different subjects simply because they know their stuff, and they’re not trying to sell me anything. They just want to be helpful in their own space. These are people that I learn from, but also whom I would buy from because I trust their knowledge and expertise.

Being an expert helps you:

 – Establish yourself as an industry leader
– Help others
– Become a trusted resource
– Get interviews and media coverage
– Gain access (via conference/speaking invites, etc.)
– Convert followers to sales

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ING To Split In Two By 2013

From the New York Times, Dutch bank and insurance company, ING, is breaking up.

The Dutch financial services company, said Monday that it planned to break up its insurance and banking businesses and raise up to 7.5 billion euros, or $11.3 billion, in a stock issue, after reaching a deal with the government to repay ahead of schedule half the money it received in a bailout last year.

As part of the deal with the European Commission, ING agreed to sell its U.S. Internet banking arm, ING Direct, by 2013. The company anticipates that it will take several years to get out of the business, but said that it regards the operation as “a very strong franchise” and the U.S. market offers potential for growth.

Personally, I am a INGDirect customer for more than five years. I love their products, and recommend to anyone I know who is fed up with their current bank.  I hope Ally would consider buying ING Direct which would be a nice complement to their high yield online savings accounts and CDs. People Love To Know Their Options

Last week after Finovate, I met with BillShrink’s Director of Marketing, Jenny Michalski to talk about BillShrink. We talked about how BillShrink may make consumers more brand agnostic especially when it comes to mobile phone service. However, people will tend to hold on to their American Express card even if there credit cards with better interest rates and perks.

BillShrink provides you with valuable customized information on how to save money on mobile phone plans, credit cards and gasoline prices. Now,  BillShrink has just added a new feature where you can compare saving accounts and CD interest rates. With its new tool, the company said company said will analyze interest rates from more than 60 banks to help find the best one.


Billeo is a site that makes it easy for you to pay bills and manage online passwords. At Finovate, announced their offer assistant which is a tool that shows what retailers have offers. This is similar to RetailMeNot but may be better since you find the offers via a Google search instead of going to a partner site.

Billeo has partnered with UPside, a prepaid debit card to show retail coupons and discounts.