Preparing for Lift Off

Our first pre-trip training session is now under our belts.

So. Much. Information.

From risks and liabilities to opportunities and must-do’s – we covered a TON of ground. CAM’s assistant director of development, Marianna Divietro, provided us with some great tips on the art of the handshake and introduction. She also prepped us on preparing a series of elevator speeches to help us get in and out of quick conversations while competing with masses of people all vying for the same attention and the coveted business card!

MEIS associate professor Storm Gloor also joined us to give us an insider’s peek of what to expect while at SXSW. Storm has attended an astonishing 18 SXSW Festivals! If the group deerdidn’t have “deer in headlights” looks before Storm joined the conversation, they certainly had it after! Storm shared valuable information about how to save time by having a plan, eating on the go and being highly strategic about session and show planning. His final piece of sage advice centered around the art of networking at SXSW. Both Storm and Marianna encouraged our ambassadors to create their own business cards to exchange. Storm highly encouraged our group to not walk away from introductions without obtaining a card.

Some key takeaways from the session:

  • CU Denver student code of conduct applies – even while traveling away from campus
  • Don’t violate a policy or you’ll have to pay $$$ and be sent home
  • A handshake should be firm and be paired with direct eye contact
  • Bring business cards – get business cards!
  • Some popular speakers may appreciate a simple, “Hi, I’m XXX and loved hearing your speak. Can I get your card so I can be in touch later?”
  • Follow up! Follow up! Follow up!
  • Be prepared with an elevator speech or two – but also be prepared to have a super condensed version that leaves at least one memorable takeaway that states your purpose
  • Talk to everyone – when you’re in line, at the booth, sitting in sessions
  • Be smart about scheduling
  • Take into account distance between venues and multiply it by 10!
  • It’s an incredible and overwhelming experience – pace yourself and don’t forget water and comfortable shoes

Our next training session will dive deeper into facts and knowledge about CAM, how to staff a booth and maximize engagement and planning for more blog posts and our presentations.

We’re almost ready!



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