The ATO Events team has been arranging and holding professional events with enthusiasm and dedication for many years — business conferences, exhibitions, industry awards, seminars, etc. Like any meaningful work, our activity brings us much joy when we feel that the event had a success. When the speakers managed to raise the audience interest, the participants actively asked questions, had heated discussions on the sidelines, and after the sessions communicated in an informal atmosphere, they just did not want to disperse.
But there are always those who remain dissatisfied. Leaving the event, they ask themselves — why did I come here, why did I waste my time and the company’s money?
There can be many reasons for disappointment, we carefully study them, trying to make our events better. But on the basis of many years of experience and numerous surveys, let us say that some participants, having come to a business conference, are simply not ready for it — they have not determined the purpose for their attendance.
"If you don’t care where you want to find yourself, girl, it does not matter for you where you go."
L. Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
We have taken the liberty of bringing together the advice of numerous highly respected business people who shared their opinions on why to attend business conferences
We will be glad if these tips will help you to improve the efficiency of your work at the event.Gaining knowledge and experience
You need to come to the conferences for obtaining serious facts and professional opinions that help you take a broader look at your business, catch the current market trends.
Participation in the conference gives you an opportunity to learn about new ideas and approaches in the areas of your interest, as well as to expand your understanding of related areas, to better understand the problems, to enrich yourself with new facts and analytics and to charge yourself by the atmosphere of a professional community.
In order not to miss anything valuable, preparation is needed. It is useful to study the program in advance and to highlight those elements that require most attention. It is advisable to prepare substantive questions on the topics of your interest and to ask them in the conference room or during a break. By the way, this is a good opportunity to get to know the speaker personally.Updating knowledge about market participants
Participation in a professional conference is one of the most convenient ways to refresh your understanding of your position in the market. From speeches, presentations and communication, you can assess the state and current level of market leaders, competitors, potential customers and partners.
It is useful to look at the activity of competitors. Watch their work at the conference: how they position themselves, what they win over you, and what they lose.Communication
Face-to-face meetings are always more effective than communication by mail or on the Internet, so do not miss the opportunity to talk within the framework of the conference. Many people believe that communication within the framework of the event is no less beneficial for business than reports and discussions within the framework of the program.
Here you can easily organize communication with people you already know who will be on the same site and at the same time with you. Contact them in advance, and this will allow you to have 5−10 quick meetings.
In addition, do not miss the opportunity to meet directly with potential partners, customers, people important to the industry. Decide in advance who you want to meet by looking at the list of participants. And think about how you can get to know each other. It is best to approach with a specific question or topic for discussion, thereby demonstrating interest in this particular person or the company they represent.
To search for the like-minded people, it makes sense to browse social networks by the conference hashtag — live reviews, thoughts, opinions. It’s a good chance to see an interesting person, send him a message and immediately meet him in person.
"Fan" networking is perceived worst of all in the professional community. This is when a person goes from one participant to another with the same question: "What is your name, what do you do? Perhaps we can find some common ground? Let’s exchange business cards." "Fan" networking can "shoot" only when the organizers specifically hold networking sessions, where all the participants get the opportunity to quickly and in an organized way get to know each other.
And there is a little trick: if possible, come to the very opening of the event. Usually people pull up to the end of the "welcome coffee" and the beginning of the first reports. And hence, there is a chance to catch some very cool participant or speaker, who is quietly bored on the sidelines until the bulk of the people arrived.Marketing
If you plan to stay in your market for a long time, you need to work on your recognition and image. The more often customers and partners see you in various sources, whether it is a publication in the media, speeches at events or participation in them, the more likely you will be perceived as a reliable partner.
To achieve a clear marketing benefit from the event, if you are an ordinary participant, and not a sponsor, you will have to be reasonably active. The effect of such activities can be multiplied if several people are present at the conference from the company.
At a minimum, it makes sense to greet all your friends, remind them of your existence and show that everything is fine with you. In our pandemic times, this becomes especially important. Tell the right people about yourself or your new products.
Use modern marketing tools. Publications in social networks with the conference hashtag, with original and incendiary comments and photos; participation in online surveys and questionnaires, interesting questions for speakers, participation in video interviews and some other PR activities of the organizers for social networks — this is an incomplete list of such opportunities.
Often, to promote their marketing goals, their own publication of the results of attending an event is also beneficial.