25th Jan 2012
Going to Learning Technologies 2012? AccessPlanit's David Evans gives the community six top tips on getting the most from your visit.
For some time annual conference and exhibition events have been delivering the ideal hunting ground for service providers looking to showcase their latest services and products to their target market, and for opportunistic business people to interact with like-minded individuals and buy into the latest ideas and concepts to support them in becoming more effective in their job. The Learning and Technologies Show is no different, and this year the hosts promise to put on another incredible event.
The conference and exhibition formula works, otherwise halls up and down the country wouldn't be packed out each week with stalls, seminars and presentations filling up packed daily schedules. However, while these events are well-attended, how many visitors go along equipped with a strategy that will ensure they get the most return for sacrificing a day or two out of the office?
From our experience, not very many. So, to ensure that you get the most from the next conference or event, follow our top tips on how to prepare for the next time you leave the exhibition hall you have more than just a bag full of branded pens, pencils and mousemats...
- Prepare: Just because the event planner's marketing team has told you that each and every seminar at the conference is a 'must attend', it's crucial that you do some prep work yourself. Be clear on what the key issues are for your business right now, and align those objectives with the sessions you attend. Also, find out who is speaking and identify whether anyone is particularly 'cutting edge' in terms of where the market is going and how it will develop.
- Benchmark: You'll be inundated with representatives from stalls wanting to talk to you about their latest products and services, but have a strategy in place from the start as you will struggle to have good conversations with every single one. As an example, see this as a benchmarking opportunity, so look at all your current suppliers, find out who is in direct completion with them, and see if you could be getting a better deal somewhere else.
- Smartphones: Unless you're part of an anti-tech clan, you'll have a mobile phone with decent camera functionality, and a busy conference is the ideal place to use it. Instead of frantically writing down notes on each and every new piece of tech that you think might be able to half your workload, take pics to remind yourself later.
- Networking: Don't be too selfless either, it's good to seize the opportunity to find out more about how the latest providers can help your business, but also remember that you are surrounded by individuals working in the same industry as you, and the power of networking should never be ignored. Think about those who are a few rungs above you on the corporate ladder, and consider how they could help you to catch up. If you get a chance, find out who is attending and which company they are from, you can make a beeline for then during breaks.
- Be ruthless: Exhibition and conferences are a crucial time for service and product providers, and it makes no sense to waste people's time. So, by following step 1 and having a clear idea of what you want to get from the exhibition you will ensure that you don't waste anyone's time. Don't stand around and let an exhibitor talk and talk if you have absolutely no interest in the product in question or it it's totally irrelevant to your business. Of course, if there is a chance that you could invest or are keen to learn more about the company, stay and talk, but if not take a ruthless approach and move on to the next stand.
- Visit us: Of course, the best way to get the most from the Learning and Technologies show 2012 is to visit the experts – accessplanit. See us at stand 67.
Accessplanit has has years of experience in exhibiting at conferences and will not only be exhibiting at the Learning Technologies show, but running a seminar session as well. If you would like to hear more about accessplanit and the products it has developed for the learning industry email [email protected]