Conference Success Requires Careful Planning

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 23, 2010

Before you decide to attend any conference or expo, think about what you expect to come back with—be it contact names, research, or partnership opportunities. Use this goal to determine if the outcome justifies the cost and time involved with the conference. If it doesn’t, don’t bother attending.

Assuming that you’ve outlined some critical goals that seem achievable, now ensure you’ve got enough time to prepare the items you will need for success. This includes presentations, surveys, handouts, and even a networking plan so you don’t arrive at the show unprepared. Make sure you know who’s going to be exhibiting at the show—if you are able to, get a list of VIPs, media, or folks whom you want to meet, and set up these meetings in advance. Don’t get to the show and simply scout out the floor, hoping somebody will be there who will make your trip worthwhile. Plan a route for networking so you’re not simply racing up and down the aisles. Finally, remain flexible throughout the conference. Perhaps you’ll learn about a new prospect or partnership opportunity. Don’t book yourself so solid that you don’t have the ability to seize these opportunities.

Beth Goldstein
President
Marketing Edge Consulting Group
Boston

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