Attending a conference is the single greatest way to network with the industry of your choice. Exhibitors want to network with you and gain exposure within their industry. There’s no better place for companies to accomplish those goals than a trade show. That being said, as an attendee, its can be a little overwhelming. Unprepared conference-goers will drown in the sheer volume of exhibitors, people to meet, seminars to attend, and ultimately waste the majority of their time. Here are fifteen ways to keep your head above water and gain the maximum benefit from attending a conference/expo.
Before the show:
- Make appointments with exhibitors.
- Get a map of the show floor and plan your route.
- Make a checklist of information you need to get from each exhibitor.
- Make sure you have plenty of business cards.
- Plan the workshops you want to attend.
During the show:
- Collect information of interest and importance.
- Look for networking opportunities, from your peers and exhibitors.
- Carry a pen and pad to write down important notes.
- Keep a trip report as you go along.
- Be prepared to push for answers from exhibitors.
After the show:
- Organize and prioritize the information gathered.
- Follow up with companies in which you requested additional information.
- Reach out to any companies you may have missed on site.
- Contact show management to secure copies of presentations given at the conference sessions.
- Evaluate and prepare a thorough report for upper management that summarizes your experience.
The most important thing you can do for a conference is to come prepared. Make yourself a schedule and manage your time wisely. Navigating a conference is never easy, but with these tools you’ll be able to better manage your time and goals while at the show.
Please see the slide deck below: