By Joe Balich
An official presence at a tradeshow or conference offers companies one of the best opportunities to showcase their latest products, services, and solutions. Through creative signage, product demonstrations, informational handouts, and an engaging booth staff, attendees can walk away with a solid understanding of your organization and its offerings. That said, simply hosting a booth on the exhibit floor can result in both a waste of valuable time and resources. Remember, your booth is going to be among many – often hundreds – of other booths that are also trying make the same lasting impression.
In the first edition of this two part “Beyond the Booth” series, I’ve outlined a few opportunities to increase the impact of your next event that exist outside the comfy confines of your booth:
Press / Analyst Engagement
In addition to potential customers and partner organizations, conference attendees regularly include influential industry press and analysts as well. By having the major industry players all in one location, they can better observe emerging market developments and more accurately gauge future trends. This presents a golden opportunity for you to engage with industry influencers and highlight why your group is worth watching.
Most events provide media lists that indicate who will be attending and how best to get in contact with them. Reach out at least a week before the conference starts to gauge their interest in meeting and set realistic expectations for briefings. This opportunity should be used to start laying the foundation for a rewarding relationship that continues long after the event wraps.
Event Speaking Opportunities
Presentations, expert panels, and demonstration theaters make up the backbone of most conference programs. Speaker sessions are often the primary reason people travel around the globe to attend events. If your company has an innovative solution to a persistent industry challenge or can offer insights on current trends, consider a submitting to speak. This will only amplify your organization’s message and position your team as experts in their field.
Explore conference websites to identify available speaking opportunities and learn how to apply. Suggested topics or tracks are typically found in an event’s official Call for Speakers / Papers / Presentations (the label varies). Also, pay attention to important deadlines as they tend to be set well in advance of the actual conference dates and submission criteria can require more time and energy than initially anticipated.
Interested in more conference and trade show recommendations? Stay tuned for part two of this “Beyond the Booth” series when I’ll dive into additional methods for maximizing your next event presence.