Attending an industry conference is an excellent way for professionals to stay up-to-date on current trends in their professions and to make valuable networking contacts. With so many sessions to attend and people to meet, it is no wonder that the conference exhibit hall is the best place to receive all of these benefits in one place.
Walking into the exhibit hall can sometimes be a lot to take in with booths, vendors and salespeople lining the room but the best thing you can do is embrace it! You’re surrounded by people who have a wealth of industry related knowledge to share with you.
We’ve summarized 5 tips to help you make the most of the exhibit hall at a conference.
Go In With A Plan
Most conferences have their exhibitors listed on their website homepage. Once you register for the conference, you can discover which exhibitors will be there and where they are located in the hall. We suggest making a list of vendors you want to speak with and when you intend to visit their display, and, if provided, mark their location down on a map.
Budget Your Time
Make sure you budget your time by visiting the booths you want to see during breaks. Break your exhibit hall time into a series of small visits. Visiting the exhibit hall multiple times for shorter periods of time, rather than trying to see every vendor and exhibit in one shot, can help you see all of the vendors you wish to see without feeling overwhelmed.
Take Advantage Of Face-to-Face Time
Once you’re at a booth, take advantage of the face-to-face time you have with the vendor. Find out the information you need by going in with an idea of what you want to know or what questions you might have. Exchange your contact information, and, if there is a demo, spend some time watching how it works. An in-person demo is much more rewarding than a 5–-10-minute video online. You’ll thank yourself later.
Take The Experience Back to Work With You
Conversations shouldn’t end in the exhibit hall. A great conversation with a vendor about their product or service can lead to making new purchases and new business connections that will benefit your workplace. Even if you’re not the person to make purchase decisions, you can take the information back to work with you and give it to the person who is responsible.
When attending your next conference, make time for the exhibit hall! It is an excellent place for speaking and networking with the exhibitors and seeing the latest and greatest technologies, tools and platforms.