Excitement is mounting for this week’s adventure to International Confex and Event Production Show. Our preparation has ramped up over the past few weeks with Revel Strategy Consultant Sophie Blake leading the way. (For that we are eternally grateful!) To make the most out of our time in the Grand Hall, we have put together a conference strategy using the following tips on how to make the most of large-scale events.
How to make the most of large-scale events
Pre-event like a boss.
Getting your ducks in a row before the big day can make all the difference. Contact clients, leads and suppliers that will be in attendance well in advance; set times for 1-to-1 meetings; register completely to ensure easy entry; connect to the event social platforms, begin engagement and look up event hashtags to properly join the online conversation; and don’t forget to download the app!
Programme and session selection: do your research.
Block out some time in your schedule leading up to the event to actually read the programme. Get an overall feel of what is on offer and then hone in on topics of interest. What will help you grow individually? What inspires your team and brand? What could help your current clients? Where will your prospects be gathering?
Exhibitor due diligence is a must.
These events are a perfect opportunity to meet with both large and niche production companies, event tech suppliers, venues and industry experts. Do your research beforehand. Scout out who will be exhibiting and where. Come prepared with specific questions for suppliers. With a bit of forethought, an afternoon in the exhibit hall could reveal a number of viable solutions.
Go outside your comfort zone with an open mind.
Large conferences specific to your industry are a great opportunity to expand your knowledge base and investigate the latest advances being made by thought-leaders and fellow delegates. Shake things up. Throw in a session or two that you wouldn’t typically attend. Allow the event to surprise you.
Don’t try to do too much.
Time is finite. Energy is as well. You don’t want to overdo it. Work in some down time. Sit, rest, have a sip of water and take in your surroundings. Short 5-minute breaks to gather yourself can make all the difference to your energy levels and clarity of mind. It also provides good opportunities to regroup with fellow revelers.
Be flexible and have fun.
Leave the window open for serendipitous connection and to have a bit of unscripted fun! Networking doesn’t happen when you have your nose in the programme all day. If you don’t overbook yourself, you may find you can show up to sessions a bit early and connect with fellow delegates interested in the topic at hand.
Take note of the event production.
Shows like Confex and EPS are an excellent opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t for events on a massive scale. Have a production section in your notebook with sections for ‘like/dislike’. Jot down what sticks out and snap pictures to help you remember.
This will be slightly different for everyone, but here are a few essentials to have on hand (and foot): phone, business cards, notepad/pen or tablet for notes, water bottle to stay hydrated (and to help decrease plastic waste at the event), shoes that won’t murder your feet, genuine interest in others and a smile.
Post-event like a boss.
After you’ve recovered from the ‘couple of drinks’ you had at the closing party, take stock of your experience. Connect with new contacts online via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Go over your notes – making sense of the scribbles and highlighting priorities. Create an actionable to-do list for internal and outward facing next steps.
We hope this list proves to be helpful for delegates attending Confex and EPS this week, as well as other large-scale conferences and events. We know the chances are small but say ‘hi’ if you spot us out and about in Olympia London. We’ll be the women with ‘Revel‘ on the nametag reveling in it all. Happy conferencing!