Attending conventions provides so many benefits for you and your business. You will have lots of opportunities to network, share ideas, market your business, and keep your finger on the pulse.
But how can you ensure you make the most out of the conventions you visit? It takes time and money to make the trip, so you want to make sure you’re not missing out on any opportunities.
There are a few things you can do to get more from every convention you visit, and here are some tips to help you.
Prepare Properly in Advance
Preparation is the key to enjoying a successful convention. You need a plan if you want to make the most of your time at the convention, and that means you need to have a goal in mind.
Why are you visiting this convention and what do you want to achieve? Know the answer to this, and you can base all of your decisions around meeting your goal.
That means looking over the agenda and going through your plan. Who are the speakers you want to see? What type of person do you want to meet? Deciding on these details will help you to plan your visit successfully.
Book Your Hotel
This should be done well in advance of the convention. Indeed, as soon as you know the date of the convention and that you want to go, get your accommodation sorted because, for popular conventions, hotel rooms will get booked out early.
If you’re going to a convention in Orlando, somewhere like the Marriott Residence Inn could be ideal. Wherever you go, make sure it is somewhere comfortable where you can relax and unwind in the evening as well as being well located to make traveling to the convention easier.
Pack the Right Gear
You should prepare properly before your trip by packing everything you will need in one bag. This could include a laptop and phone as well as chargers to keep them going, and plenty of business cards to hand out to the people you meet.
Be Open to Networking
Networking is one of the reasons to go to conventions in the first place, so make sure you are prepared.
Know the speakers you want to see, then make an effort to talk to them at the convention. Also, strike up conversations with new people—you never know when an opportunity may arise. And if you have existing customers who are going to be there, make an effort to meet them in person to build stronger relationships.
Get Involved in Social Media
It’s a great idea to use social media when you visit a convention, and there are various strategies you can use to make the most of it.
Conventions will usually have a hashtag that you can use when you send out tweets and social posts. This can help you to get involved in the conversation and show people that you are there. You might meet people through this who you can then meet in person.
Stay on Top of Things
It’s easy to get overwhelmed at a convention, and you can end the day with hundreds of business cards and numbers. Try to stay organized during the day to avoid this.
Write down important details in a notebook or on your phone. Use an app like Evernote to help you, and when you meet someone you need to follow up with, write this down on their business card and capture the details of the conversation you had.
Follow Up When You Return
Finally, don’t assume that it ends when you get home. While the convention itself may have ended, now you need to make sure you make the most of all the information you collected and the people you met.
Tidy up all your notes, write up any information you discovered now that it is fresh in your mind, and, most importantly, follow up with any contacts. Call the people you want to speak to while they still remember who you are, and take advantage of any business opportunities that arise.