5 Ways to Make the Most of your Conference/Trade Show Experiences

WBR, publishers of this blog and producers of the eTail conference series, know a thing or two about events. However, it’s rare that we talk about how those of us going to events (be they conferences, trade shows, what have you) can make the most out of our time there – which, after having been to more than a few dozen, I know is an art.

We came across this post on the topic from Marketing Minute, and thought it was a great summary of the ways to do that. So here, we bring you a condensed version.

Make a hit list. Do a Twitter search to see who is talking about the event and identify a few people you feel you must meet before heading home. You’ll feel really great if you can check them off your list before getting aboard your plane back.

Take advantage of the event’s location. Ask yourself before you go: is there a prospect located within a reasonable distance from the event location? Why not take a day to visit them face to face? And don’t be afraid to have a little fun in the area – travel burn-out will be imminent if you don’t give yourself a chance to stop and smell the roses.

Be a connector. Make it your goal to help one new person a day. Introduce them to someone you know, or share a simple resource or invite them to join you for a coffee. For many people, attending a conference or trade show can be an isolating experience. As the Marketing Minute post accurately points out, even the most gregarious person can get a little shy (I know this to be true.) But if you’re the one being helpful, it can take the discomfort away.

Give props to the presenters. Any presenter, no matter how well-known or obscure, will will appreciate a compliment about their presentation. It’s a good segue into a conversation, and will work even better if you have something specific you can point out that was beneficial to you.

Pace yourself. This is a super important one. Conferences and trade shows are made to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, which ultimately means you will be running around like a crazy person for 8+ hours straight. No human can keep up the show pace for several days non-stop, so the best way to handle it is to plan breaks and to identify the must see events during the schedule.