My inbox is overflowing with webinar announcements and seminar information about upcoming trade show events. I’m the same as everyone else because I have limited time. How can I maximize my show time? How can I keep up with tech?
Nowadays, almost every trade event also features a conference track simultaneously. You should have plenty of time to register for these, and in most cases, you’ll get a discount if you do so in advance because they’re widely marketed. Because the conference may sometimes take place before the actual show, it does not always cut into the time spent in front of the various exhibitors. In any event, you should begin preparing your conference agenda as soon as possible.
Seminars and other live, in-person events have long been effective in keeping audiences interested. That’s no longer entirely true. Although it’s not always acknowledged, most people attend events for networking opportunities as well as for the event’s substance. Therefore, multi-track events, multi-day panels, Q&As, break-out sessions, and other features enhance the value of a seminar. Events always moved more quickly than seminars because of this in the past.
Take a look at the itinerary for your trip and calculate how much time you will have available to attend the conference sessions that interest you. Take some time to go over the program information. In most circumstances, there will be a pervasive variety of options available. Take a look at the attendees the session intends to attract. Investigate the companies that were represented by the speakers. If either your job title or job description is listed, then there is a good chance that you should participate in this activity.
Are they the kind of people you hope to talk to? Are you in a position to profit from their experience? Simply conducting a search on Google is all that is required to learn more about your speakers. Try searching for the presenter’s name while enclosing it in quotation marks and seeing what comes up.
Will the session present “fresh” material, or will it just be recycling some old “has been” ideas that haven’t been updated in 20 years? Note that many conferences do not pay their speakers; instead, they count on businesses to donate their time in exchange for the opportunity to promote their goods and services. Consequently, you must determine whether this “content” is worthy of your time or whether it is simply an “advertorial” for the company.
Before this point, many companies’ event strategies would have likely considered webinars to be a focus with no ROI. In the case of webinars, access to the webinar itself was previously made simple for those who had the URL to the webinar by sharing it. There were no entrances on the street level.
A year ago, you probably used a pretty standard webinar platform, so there’s a good chance that it lacked many features that would have rounded out the experience for you. For instance, you probably couldn’t speak to the host during the webinar. Other engagement tools, such as direct messaging and profile viewing, were not present, and some platforms were lucky to even offer live chat during the webinar for questions and discussions.
In my experience, these sessions are rarely productive or worthwhile. Be wary of events that are advertised as being “free.” It is typically not worth going unless this individual is a “paid” expert who has been brought in to boost the number of people who attend the show.
You can frequently find an article or report on the market that you can buy that covers the same topic. When I give a presentation, it’s always based on recent research I’ve conducted, and I turn that research into a report that attendees can buy after the event. Do you have any other options for accessing the material or the information?
Keep an eye out for sessions that will provide you with information you will not be able to obtain in any other way, as well as those with a “stellar” selection of presenters. If you are unable to attend a specific session, you should find out whether it will be repeated at a later time or how you can access the information after the event has concluded.
Find out how long and when the session will be. Is it possible for you to combine this meeting with your lunch break? These days, breakfast sessions are more popular than ever before. Why shouldn’t you try to eat and educate yourself simultaneously? Is the information something others in your organization can use to further their goals? Gain some favor by contributing to the conversation with insightful observations.
If you don’t have a point of reference for any sessions, you should investigate who sponsors them. Is it a business with a solid track record or a professional organization you hold in high esteem? You are free to call them at any time and enquire about the event or the speakers. Even if the speaker is “average,” you can still complain to them about it. Plan ahead and make the most of your time at the seminar you attend, regardless of which one you choose to follow.