A New York Event Primer – MailCon, Affiliate Summit East, Mailer Meetup
Heading to New York for MailCon, Affiliate Summit East, Mailer Meetup, SMS Meetup, and the AdBuyers Meetup? (Whew! That’s a lot of events all at once!) Whether you’re planning to attend 1, 2 or more of these great events in New York from August 10-13, you and every attendee will want to make the most of your trip. Since everyone loves top 10 lists, here are 10 tips to help you get the most ROI on your investment of time and money to attend the shows.
- Set your event goals
There are plenty of reasons to attend an industry conference. Is it about education, business development, networking, general info gathering, or all of the above? It’s important to decide what you want to get out of the event, prior to walking onto a trade show floor. If you have clear goals, you know how to prioritize attending sessions, meeting with clients, checking out the exhibit hall, etc. Inevitably, the event is going to be busy and you may not get to everything you hope, so having clear goals will help you focus on the key results you want to accomplish.
- Take advantage of the conference apps
Over the past few years, more and more event organizers are taking advantage of mobile apps for their conferences. Both MailCon and Affiliate Summit put our very useful mobile apps. From agendas to venue maps, these apps can take the place of (or just augment) the traditional printed conference program. In addition, these apps contain info on all the registered attendees to the event. This is a HUGE value if you are trying to plan meetings with clients, partners, and prospects, since you can see who is attending and the apps also often include a way to connect with other attendees and set meetings. If you aren’t downloading these conference apps in advance of the event, you’re missing out on a significant value prop.
- Set meetings in advance
Whether it’s using the conference app or just reaching out to your contacts, setting meetings in advance it vital if face-to-face time with specific people/companies is your goal. Do not wait until the event starts to try and set times to meet. People inevitably fill their schedules in advance and getting a definite time on someone’s calendar once the event starts is very difficult. At the same time, realize that even scheduled meetings may end up getting postponed or even cancelled. Once these conferences get rolling, everyone has a hard time sticking to their schedules. Attendees get pulled in multiple directions, so don’t be surprised if some meetings on your schedule end up not happening due to either you or your meeting partner getting pulled away.
- Schedule your time wisely
As mentioned above, people tend to go into an event with the best intentions of making every meeting on their schedule, plus all the sessions and side events they want to attend. But, the reality of a busy conference means that it is a struggle to stay on schedule. So, don’t overbook yourself. Make sure you have time between meetings to accommodate people who may be running late (including yourself). It can also be smart to plan as many meetings as possible in a single location, which helps ensure that you will always be on time.
- Take advantage of after-hours networking
Most industry events include a variety of networking events and parties that take place in the evenings. The affiliate and digital marketing industries certainly take advantage of those evening hours for additional events. So, make sure you find out about as many of these evening events as possible and take advantage of as many as you can. In a lot of cases, more business gets done over a cocktail in the evening than during the conference day.
- Pack some key items
People write entire articles on what to bring to an industry event. But, here are just a few key items you should have with you.
-Laptop – this is a no-brainer in our industry
-Notebook and pen – you don’t want to take out your laptop to take notes in every meeting or educational session
-Business cards – yeah, they’re old school, but still a useful tool to hand out when meeting new people
-Device chargers – we’ve all forgotten to bring our laptop or phone charger on a trip and it’s always a headache when it happens
- Don’t forget to eat
Seems obvious, right? But, when these events get into full swing, you’re going to be BUSY! It’s easy to just skip lunch, to get in another meeting or session. It’s smart to pack some snacks for emergencies, but definitely try to make time to eat those three meals a day. Plus, New York has some fantastic food, so don’t miss the chance for some great meals!
- Prep for being out of the office
If you’re going to be OOO for a few days, it’s always smart to plan ahead. Set your Out of Office Response on your email, reschedule regular meetings or calls, and make sure you don’t have any key deadlines while you’re away, if they can be moved. This will help cut down on your stress during the event, as you can really focus as much as possible on the conference, rather than things going on back at the office.
- Figure out the conference logistics
One thing that every attendee needs to do is pick up their conference badge. If you do this at the wrong time, you may end up in a long line. So, check out when passes can be picked up and if possible get it the day/night before the event kicks off (you can generally do this at Affiliate Summit). It will save you time the next day. It’s also smart to get an idea of the conference location and layout, so you aren’t trying to find your way around once the event kicks off.
- Take notes for follow up
This may seem obvious, but we all know how many people are bad at follow up from a conference. It can happen to all of us, but one way to make follow up easier is to take notes after each meeting. When you come back to your office and just have a big stack of business cards, it’s tough to remember all the conversations if you don’t have some decent notes regarding what you need to follow up on.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in New York in a few weeks! If you would like to meet with one of our OPTIZMO team members, you can schedule time through the links below.
Jake Dearstyne – Chief Revenue Officer
Brian Culp – Director of Sales and Client Services