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It's Conference Season: Are You Ready?

Sep 5, 2019 2:07:25 PM

I have always found it interesting how many different seasons there are once you become an adult. As a child you tend to believe in four seasons- spring, summer, fall, winter- or maybe two seasons- school season and summer season.

Yet, as we get older the more seasons we tend to run into. Add sports seasons, performance/recital seasons, vacation seasons. When I worked in college athletics there was preseason, the dreaded season of overlap when our fall/winter or winter/spring sports ran at the same time, and then off season. Cue a change in career and enter buying seasons, trench drain season, water heater season, rental parts season and finally, conference and show season. I had no idea there were SO many different seasons. 

Conferences and shows can break your routine, take you out of the office and out of town for an extended period of time and make you unavailable to clients who need you and prospects you want to find. Yet, they are an important part of career development or sales strategies. 

When I came across the article "Survive the Upcoming Conference Season" I gave it a read and realized I didn't think of some of the survival tips. It also made me think of a few others that aren't mentioned. In addition to their four tips, here are three more from me:

  1. Set your goals for the conference: Like so many networking events we attend- you need to have a goal for attending the conference. Are you simply hoping to go and learn more about a given subject or are you going to connect with someone else in your industry? Even more, what does connecting with someone mean to you? 
  2. Be flexible: If you are at the conference and you need to not simply multitask by answering emails on breaks or after hours but step away to work with a client- make the best business decision that needs to be made. 
  3. Communicate your schedule: Many emergency emails and calls can possibly be avoided by good communication with clients about your availability. Not only should you communicate with those outside of your organization, but internal communication is key too. Make sure team members know where to find important papers or be sure to empower them to make certain decisions in your absence. 

How do you make sure you survive conferences and shows? Do you have different expectations for your conferences and shows if you a a vendor or an attendee? Share with us your conference and show survival tips.