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10 Terrific Tips to Justify Attending Your Next Conference

July 12, 2015

You really want to attend a conference and trade show that is coming up in three months. You know many of your industry colleagues will be there and the speakers look to be fantastic! In addition, it is in a desirable venue because you can bring your family along for a mini-vacation.

The problem? You have a new boss who you don’t know very well, your department budget is being cut or your workload has increased. Whatever the problem, you need tools and techniques to get you to the show!

Here are 10 great ones to use for this conference and everyone in the future!

10 Winning Techniques to Justification

Before the Event

 

  1. Research why you need to be there.

    Find out as much about the conference as possible, including how it will be in sync with the company’s business goals. Most managers who have not attended a conference or trade show in a long time think it is an excuse to let loose and party. Bring home the value to the company when pitching it to your boss.

    In addition, make certain to explore why the face-to-face experience cannot be replaced with a hybrid or virtual meeting.
     
  2. Markup which sessions you plan to attend and review the plan with your boss.

    He or she may want you to attend one or two others instead. Go with their plan because after all, they have the power to approve your trip.
     
  3. Use a Justification Kit.

    MPI, ASAE and International Spectrum can provide you with help to write a convincing letter to your boss and calculate attendance ROI. Use them if needed.
  4. Offer to share your knowledge upon your return.

    At one organization, they devoted 15-20 minutes at every weekly staff meeting to one session at the conference. Even though this took two months to complete, it helped spread the enthusiasm about the session to the rest of the employees. In addition, it was a launching board to discuss how the session ideas would be implemented into the company.
     
  5. If there is no time for presentations, offer to write a report.

    Sometimes due to physical boundaries, you are not able to get together and meet on a regular basis. Offer to write a two-three page report including hyperlinks to the booth exhibitors you met with, presentations you saw and video from the sessions.

 

When you are there
 

  1. Attend Everything.

    Attend every meal, keynote, breakout session and all the allotted time on the trade show floor. Take great notes, collect business cards and connect with individuals on LinkedIn.

    When you are on the trade show floor, ask for demonstrations of the product or service, view videos, talk to exhibitor staff and pick up marketing materials.
     
  2. Engage.

    Even though this may not be in your nature, now is the time to ask a lot of questions of the speakers, sponsors and trade show exhibitors. Talk to them and figure out if their product or service is right for your organization.
     
  3. If you bring more than one person from the company to the conference, split up.

    I know it may be hard, but act like you are total strangers. Sit at different tables during the general session, go to different breakouts and make sure you have a strategy to cover the entire trade show floor. You will have time to debrief on the flight home or first thing when you return to the office.
     
  4. Let customers and other employees know you are away.

    Have a person at the office set up to handle your phone calls. If possible, forward all your emails to them. Put an autoreply on your email letting individuals know when you will be returning. Believe it or not, most things can wait. But if they can’t by all means have the person with a crisis, call you directly.


When You Return

 

  1. Make certain to follow up on your plan.

    If you promised presentations or a report, make certain to schedule or write it within two business days of your return. We all are busy professionals and the messaging you received while away can get “lost in translation” as time fritters away. Do it right away!

About Kalahari

 

When planning a large conventions or trade shows, think of Kalahari convention centers for flexible meeting space. State-of-the-art features and highly personalized services ensure every event is a monumental success. Call our Group Sales office today at (855) 411-4605 to learn more about our offerings! 

You really want to attend a conference and trade show that is coming up in three months. You know many of your industry colleagues will be there and the speakers look to be fantastic! In addition, it is in a desirable venue because you can bring your family along for a mini-vacation.

The problem? You have a new boss who you don’t know very well, your department budget is being cut or your workload has increased. Whatever the problem, you need tools and techniques to get you to the show!

Here are 10 great ones to use for this conference and everyone in the future!

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