Convention season has arrived! Whether it is a Regional, State, National or International convention – it is a great opportunity to meet and network with other professionals in the Fair Industry. Many times the decision to attend a convention or conference is based on “costs” … registration, travel, lodging, meals, etc. In reality, the decision should be made on content, networking opportunities, trade show expo vendors, and learning about industry trends.
So, how do you justify being away from the day to day operations of the fairgrounds to attend a convention? Follow along and you’ll have all the right reasons and maybe even decide to take some Fair Staff with you!
Reason #1 – Program Content of the Event
Convention Organizers spend hours, yes hours and many months, identifying which topics/speakers to present. It is their goal to make sure that your registration fee justifies the expense for your time away from the office, travel expenses and possibly closing your office in your absence, and maybe bringing other staff members to the convention, in order to attend their convention.
Reason #2 – Networking
Conventions offer a wide range of networking opportunities during sessions, meals, social functions. If you attend a convention and come away without meeting new people, then you aren’t really networking – you’re just visiting with friends which isn’t bad…..it’s just not the only reason to attend a convention. Networking allows you to learn about new acts, exhibits, funds, etc. In many instances, you’ll find someone who is or has experienced the exact same issue you are dealing with right now.
Reason #3 – Trade Show Expo Vendors
The trade show at any convention will be filled with vendors who believe they have a solution or opportunity for your Fair – and they do – if not today then they’ll be of value to you in the future. To make your trade show visit more valuable, identify what products and/or services your fair can use. Scan the list of vendors in advance and have a plan to make sure you spend some time with their staff in their booth. Many times the vendors will offer a “convention only” price for their product/service. Take advantage of this – it’s good financial sense if their product or service is something you’ll be using soon.
Reason #4 – Learning About Industry Trends
Review the program material to identify what industry trends are being discussed – I can assure you that there will be one topic at the event that you and your organization/facility are either working on or will be working on in the near future.
Here is another tip to get the most out of your convention, volunteer to be a part of the event: speak, moderate a round table or a presentation, assist with check in, or participate on a committee that has some role/function at the convention. You’ll meet other Fair Industry professionals, make new friends, and learn so much more than you could from just attending a convention. Check with the convention organizers for volunteer opportunities.
So there it is, my 4 reasons to attend a convention or conference: Program Content, Networking, Trade Show and Industry Trends. Do you have other reasons? If so, I’d love to hear from you so send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll see you at a convention real soon!