Hi Everyone. Well – In[Focus[ is nearly upon us. Over two hundred filmmakers and videographers and people who make wedding videos of all kinds are going to descend on a historical city that will be abuzz with the focus on picking a new republican leader. Clearly they don’t know that Steve Moses will be too busy taking notes from Ray Roman, to be considered for a presidential nomination. (Moses/Palin in 2016!!)
I can’t put into words how much attending In[Focus] in 2010 did for our business. Over three days in that hotel ballroom we formed relationships that we will probably have for life. Before that first In[Focus], we owned one HDV camera, we did all our editing using Final Cut Express and we were lucky to get 100 blog visits PER MONTH!!!!
We set some massive goals at In[Focus] that were huge! It was the middle of Winter (in Canada) and we told ourselves that we would be doing Same Day Edits using DSLRs before the end of the year. Well, we sold our XH-A1 (at a profit) a few weeks later. We leased a 5D and three prime lenses. We then bought a MacBook Pro and Final Cut Pro. I have no idea how and where we got the money (ahem: thanks God) – but needless to say – things started to explode for us. We started to do things right. The number of visits to our blog went through the roof. We have In[Focus] to thank for our business being as successful as it is today and I can’t tell you enough how excited that makes me feel.
Now it’s your turn. You might be just getting started (like we were a few years ago). Or maybe you’re a veteran and you want a jolt. This is what I believe to be an incredibly unique opportunity for you and there are a few things you can do to make it as amazing as it was for us.
1) This is an education (not just a great excuse to party). Treat it that way. Make sure you get your butt out of bed after your late night karaoke and show up for the presentations. So many people missed out because they would sleep in past the first set of speakers. Trust me when I say -as a speaker – you notice the people who show up late – and when you have questions later that were discussed while you were snuggling your hotel pillow – it might be hard for someone to spare time for your questions, when you didn’t spare time for their presentation. (don’t worry – there will still be plenty of time to party)
2) This is an opportunity for YOU. You need to muster up the courage and confidence in yourself to introduce yourself to others. Yes we have all met most each other online – but go up to people and make new friends. Be intentional about it. Set a goal that by the end of the day to have a meaningful discussion with at least 5 people. It’s one thing to exchange business cards – but it’s another to be able to get to know people so well that you can count on each other for support.
3) Be honest and admit areas you suck at. This is huge. You will be waisting your trip if you don’t attack issues head on that you’re facing and seek out advice from others. And listen when people give you advice, even if you do not agree with them, show them the respect and take it all in. Then decide when you get back what you’ll act on.
4) Leave the laptops closed. Honestly – this is big for me. When I walk around rooms at conferences regardless of the content (we film a few for others and I also speak at our local college once or twice each year) – I see people with their laptops open browsing either Facebook or Twitter or MSN or GMAIL or Yahoo Sports or Victoria’s Secret – all of these are not allowing you to focus on the education being provided. If you must use your laptop to take notes because you can’t read your own hand-writing, promise that you’ll leave WIFI off and not turn it back on even on breaks – as these are perfect times to do items 2 and 3.
5) Make a to-do list. I picked this tip up from our Business Coach and friend Donna Douglas. This will be a list of items you will accomplish over the next few months. On a sheet of paper write down #1 to #10 (or #50, or #100 if you are being really ambitious) then during presentations, if you hear a great business or filmmaking tip that makes you think “man I gotta do that as soon as I get home!” write it on your list. This way you will collect all your great ideas and inspirations in one place. Then when you get back to your office, post that list up beside your computer and get to work on accomplishing as many of those things as possible.
6) As much as you can – stick with the group. Invite yourselves to the group dinners. If you hear of people saying they are going somewhere in the evening, invite yourself along! This is how you will also do items 2 and 3 – just don’t forget about #1 and get back in time for a few hours of sleep BEFORE the presentations start (not during).
7) Don’t get arrested or do anything too liberal around the republicans because there will be secret service, and they likely will shoot you.
Please stop us and say hello because we can’t wait to meet all of you!