4 things I learned from attending my first two conferences

October 10, 2016 by Alex Peter

People in a presentation at a conference

About the author:

Alex Peter

Product marketing strategist

Alex began his career at Advicent as a mid-market business development representative. He now divides his time between assisting his team and working with enterprise clients. Alex is passionate about FinTech and creating success for his team.

How to make the most of your conference experience

I recently attended my first two conferences – the first was our Advicent Innovation Summit in Toronto and the second was the XY Planning Conference in San Diego.

There were a lot of takeaways from both conferences, and these are some of the top four tips that I learned from my conference experience that can apply to both attendees and vendors.

1. Visit every booth in the exhibit hall.

Obviously, the firms that rent the booth space in the hall are there to convince you to join their association or sell something that they believe will make your life better, and there are many reasons why you should visit them. First, you have the opportunity to see what others are doing to draw in a crowd and how they give demos and their booths. This can spark a lot of inspiration regarding how to go about conferences and demos in the future.

There is also the swag – free promotional items handed out to conference attendees to drive traffic to the booth. You never know what swag you will get – maybe it is a silly toy with a business card inside, or maybe it is more practical like a backpack or water bottle with the organization’s name on it.

2. Network at every opportunity.

Everyone goes to specific tradeshows and conferences for various reasons, but one major reason why people attend is to learn how other firms are handling changes in the industry or other initiatives. You may be able to learn of a unique strategy for attracting a younger generation of clients or a different strategy for handling specific regulatory changes. Making these connections also offer you a different perspective of how different advisors and firms are working with their clients utilizing technology.

Click here to download our eBook with conference and tradeshow best practices for exhibitors and attendees.

3. Leave work at the office.

When you go to a conference, you should be focused and present with what is going on around you. You might want to jump back to your hotel room to shoot off a few emails and take care of a few things. I suggest that you do not unless it is an emergency. Your time at these conferences is better spent networking with others in the industry and attending various sessions.

4. Attend all social events.

Certain conferences will have a pre-conference happy hour or a catered dinner and lunch. I have found that it is in your best interest to always attend these. Some of these events will have very interesting speakers, but all will offer another opportunity for you to connect with professionals in the industry. It is a great opportunity to talk and get opinions on the products and services seen in the exhibit hall.

Click here to see the list of events Advicent is attending the rest of this year. We hope to see you there!