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How to Get the Most out of Your Conference Attendance – A discussion on maximizing your investment
Last week, we finished our Ask the Expert discussion on how to get the most out of your conference attendance. Conferences are an investment in both time and money and getting the most out of your investment is critical. Whether you are attending, speaking, or exhibiting, it is important to have a strategy to pinpoint your objectives for the conference prior to arriving.
The session, sponsored by Terrapinn and hosted by Caroline Hornby, provided an interesting discussion full of tips and tricks to improve your overall conference experience. Ms. Hornby who has been in the conference industry for several years and is currently working on the Cell Culture World Congress USA and the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Congress in Cambridge, MA this September, was able to provide insightful suggestions on a variety of topics.
Question topics included:
- Maximizing your conference budget when promoting a new product
- Obtaining speaking spots
- Best way to prepare for a conference
- Tackling the exhibit hall
A sneak peek …
Maximizing your Conference Budget for Product Launch
If it isn’t within your budget to be a sponsor or exhibitor then networking is the key to launching a new product at a conference. Key networking areas include, online networking, in-person networking, social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Lastly, take advantage of the Press attending the event to see if they are interested in writing an article on your new product.
Obtaining Speaking Spots
First step, reach out to the conference organizer to see if they would be interested in having you as a speaker. If this isn’t successful, think about ways you can partner with the conference, maybe you have something that would be valuable to them, your network, a way for them to promote their conference, etc. This kind of partnering may secure you a spot.
Preparation Prior to Attendance
It is important to review the conference program a couple weeks prior to attending the conference. This review allows attendees to identify can’t miss sessions and schedule free time. After free time has been determined, you should begin reaching out to other companies and attendees that you would like to schedule meetings with.
Tackling the Exhibit Hall
Start by identifying exhibitors who could make the biggest impact on your business and be sure you visit these booths first. You can also see if booths are arranged by category, if so you can save a lot of time by only visiting the booths in the category areas that interest you. Lastly you can employ a divide and conquer strategy by splitting up the exhibit hall with colleagues, then getting together later and comparing notes.
This is only a fraction of the outstanding discussion. For a full list of questions and answers, please see Ask the Expert – How to get the most out of your conference attendance.
Please visit this week’s Ask the Expert session – “All about CHO, everything from the basics to troubleshooting,” hosted by Tim Fawcett, Ph.D. Director of the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland (BTI). Founder and Director, BioSciConcepts.
Also join us for next week’s Ask the Expert Session – Stem cell manufacturing hosted by Ronnda Bartel, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Aastrom Biosciences.