How to get the most out of your time at conventions and conferences

In the tech world now we are fortunate that there are so many great events taking place with frequent regularity. These events offer you a great opportunity to expand your career opportunities and stay in touch with new relevant industry trends. At Software Placements we recognise the value of these types of events with our ongoing sponsorship of Dublin Beta, Startup Grind as well as attending many other events too.

We thought it would useful to share some conference tips to help you get the most out of these events in 2017 as possible.

Firstly before you even leave home….

  1. Don’t leave your online registration to the last moment. For some events, even several weeks beforehand the site can crash. Just imagine what it will be like closer to the event when, for the bigger events, thousands of people want to register as well. To avoid your stress and anxiety try to do this as soon as possible. Many events, such as Mobile World Congress have created a fast-track admission option on arrival to reward those that pre-registered and save you valuable conference time when you get there.
  1. Next, if you are travelling to an event where you have to stay dop arrange your travel and accommodation logistics as soon as possible. Remember the closer it gets to the event more and more other people will be trying to do the same as you. Some events even provide an official accommodation service to help you find somewhere to stay. Airbnb will have lots of rentals listed, but these go fast, so don’t leave it to the last minute if at all possible.

Be contactable, remember that is the point of going to events.  Make it easy for people to find you, both before hand, at the event, and afterwards too.

  1. At more and more events there will be an event app, often will a meetup option for people who would like to contact you. This can be a great way to ensure that your time is used efficiently while you are at the event.
  1. Do have some social media profiles so that people can contact you. Check your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles are up to date. Find what the relevant event hashtag is, and have a look at the conversations taking place through it. This will help you to quickly know what is happening, It is a great way to see what is interesting, and to enable people to contact you. If you don’t use it, you may miss useful information and possible meetups with interesting people.

Once you get there, hit the ground running!

Have a look at the event layout beforehand.This will help you orientate yourself when you get there. The bigger events can be very large and so it may need some planning to ensure you meet everyone that you would like to.

Speak at the event if possible

Speaking opportunities can be a great way to let people know about what you do, and why do you it well. Even if not directly talking about your product, simply being up on stage is a positive advert for the value of what you do.

If there is more than one of you then act like Scoobie Do and split up and look for clues!

If you are fortunate to have a large team attending then use this to your advantage. It makes sense not to have everyone in the same place, doing the same thing. A better idea would be to plan who goes where to ensure maximum value for your company. It naturally increased the number of positive encounters and possible leads to bring back to your business.

Use your company blog to tell people that you are going, and afterwards what you learned from it

If you use the event hashtag too then it may help to bring greater awareness to event attendees about who you are and what your company does. Ideally, if you can create something that is of value to other readers, rather than solely promoting your own product this will increase the chances that other people will share the article you have created. It can also help you to get future speaking gigs too.

Have fun, use the time to listen and learn too

Remember to have fun, these events will often have the best people in your business, so it is a great opportunity to learn from the smartest people in your industry. You will be surprised how helpful they can often be too if you ask them for advice too.

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