My team and I are already a few conferences deep into the year and it’s only the end of February! 2018 is shaping up to be a whirlwind of information sharing, connection building, and so much learning! All this conference travel, preparation, and attending means that we’ve acquired some helpful tips for your next expo experience.
1. Plan Early
The more advance notice you have, the better. You’ll benefit from early bird discounts on event registration and hotel rooms, as well as usually score cheaper airline tickets by booking in advance.
2. Be Prepared
Make sure you have all the materials you need to bring on hand. Nothing is worse that getting to a convention and finding out you only have four business cards left. Do you have a good case for your laptop or tablet? Is your information current and correct on any handouts, cards, or fliers you may want to hand out? Do you have all the cords and attire that you’ll need? Now is the time to figure it out.
3. Follow along on social media
Most events have a branded hashtag that the organizers use to help promote the event. This is a great way to find out what activities are going on and who will be in attendance from presenters to other participants. By following along you can get the inside scoop on what to bring, what to check out, and who to look for.
4. Have a goal in mind
Are you looking to make new business contacts? Connect with potential clients? Learn more about your industry? These are all great goals, but to accomplish them you’ll have different tactics. Thinking about what you’d like to get out of the event before you go will help clarify which seminars or networking events you should attend and which would be a waste of your time.
5. Practice your elevator speech
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you’re ready to shine. Having a clear, concise way to describe who you are, what you do, and what kind of value you bring to others is a great way to start a conversation. Conferences and conventions are a great way to network with others, but it’s important to remember that everyone will be meeting a lot of new people so it’s up to you to stand out and be memorable.
What are your thoughts on conventions? Do you enjoy going and find them valuable or would you prefer to skip them? My team and I are headed to RE/MAX R4 next week so I'd love to hear your best tips and opinions in the comments below!