About 23,500 people are expected to attend this year’s NACS Show in Chicago Oct. 17-20th. Educational sessions will cover a range of topics from data security to customer engagement. The expo hall is over 400,000 square feet with more than a thousand exhibitors. (You can find us in booth #3367 – we hope to see you there!)
Conferences like the NACS show are investments in both time and money. They’re also brimming with networking opportunities and learning experiences. Here are some tips to make the most out of your conference experience.
Break out of your comfort zone. Trades shows and conferences are the perfect time to push your own boundaries, both personally and professionally. You can do this by being open to new ideas on the trade show floor as well as participating in educational sessions you might not think apply directly to you. Remember, events like the NACS show are as much about the people you meet as they are about the information you gather.
Arrive early, stay late. When you arrive early to a trade show event, or stay for a little bit afterward, you will have time to meet and talk with others that you might not otherwise interact with. If someone says something that interests you during a session, for example, strike up a conversation with them afterward asking for more details. This advice applies to the expo hall, mixers, and extra-curricular events as well.
Play the long game. The theme of his years NACS show is “Connect.” Meaningful connections with colleagues, industry leaders, and vendors can have a tremendous impact on your business in the long term. Make notes about the people you meet so you can find them when you encounter new business challenges down the road.
Use people’s names. In an environment made up of a sea of strangers, lanyards exist for a reason – use them! When you casually use a person’s name in a conversation, it will personalize the interaction and help you remember the person later on. Be sure to always leave your own lanyard on so others can do the same.
Go hashtag hunting. Search hashtags on social media to find out what others are saying about the event and what might be happening outside of activities on the official agenda.