When you attend a Conference or industry event, you need to have a plan of what you will do with all that information so that when you leave, you can implement all those great ideas!
GO IN WITH A PLAN
If it’s an Industry show like Highpoint furniture market or the Kitchen and bath show, you need to look over the Event’s schedule to find out what vendors you want to visit and if there is a certain time that works best like if their were doing an appreciation lunch or cocktail hour. We put all of that in our calendar. We map out what we hope to accomplish each day.
For a conference or a learning opportunity at a show- you need to plan ahead so you make the most of your investment and experience. I like to pack a bag that includes, bottled water, instant coffee (in case theirs is yucky), gum, granola bar, my notebook, pens, pencil, highlighter, and of course business cards. I want to make sure that I am ready to concentrate and really focus on what is being taught.
GO WITH LIKE MINDED BIZ FRIENDS
For market or design trade shows, Go with other like minded business friends or team members. You can keep each other focused with your goals, talk through what you are learning and seeing, and maybe even have ideas that flow from your time learning together.
For a conference- if you go by yourself, it is key to find others who are easy to talk to, sit next to,and discuss what you are learning. Be open to learning from other business owners. The new perspectives you will gain are priceless.
Take notes and get visuals. For a trade show, we take pictures, videos, and notes on our phones of all the great things we are finding and learning. For a conference, if you have workbooks- awesome! If not, take notes with what you are learning, key phrases, and even action ideas. Highlight the things that you want to take action on.
ENGAGE WITH OTHERS
Ask questions, participate, meet the speaker. Do what you can to learn from the experts. At a trade show this might look like, asking the vendors how their product is made, or the inventor/artist – how they came up with the idea or design. At a conference or learning opportunity – it looks like engaging with others on what you are learning and if possible, meet the presenter and have quick and to the point questions ready.
RECAP YOUR TIME & BUILD YOUR ACTION PLAN
The post show or conference break down- I like to think through the day while it’s fresh. For market and trade shows – we go over the day and recap anything we liked, action items, etc. Then when we are back at work- I like all who attended to share trends and action items with our whole team.
Since Conferences and learning sessions are more in depth, I take time to reflect on these -maybe with others- but definitely by myself. I want to look at the notes from the conference, what I highlighted for action items, and then I get those in my calendar.
After all, whether you are attending a week long trade show or a one day conference, it is an investment of your time and money and you need to make it work for you.
Hope you enjoyed these tips for having a successful Conference or show! What do you like to incorporate into your events? Let me know!
P.S. Did you know we have a To-The-Trade page dedicated to all things Design Business? Go check it out >>. https://monarchlaneinteriors.com/to-the-trade