Jenna Diemer is director of strategic programs at Advicent, the financial planning technology provider of choice for nearly 100,000 financial professionals.
With 2018 in full swing, many firms are still working to finalize their budget for the remainder of the year. Attending an industry tradeshow, however, should be a priority when considering budget restrictions.
There are many reasons to attend a tradeshow, including professional education, networking, and new product research. Some obvious barriers may be costs, time off work, and personal obligations. Keep the following four items in mind when deciding whether you should attend an industry tradeshow.
Be present for new product announcements
Many companies wait until large tradeshows to announce new product features and improvements. This is because of the immediate exposure to attendees and competitors in addition to the access to press and industry analysts to help generate buzz.
Exhibitor booths allow for in-depth conversations about these products enhancements and company outlook. This is a great time to schedule a product demo and ask those decision-making questions in person.
Gain industry knowledge
A key component of every tradeshow is the inclusion of industry-focused breakout sessions. By organizing your schedule, you can be sure to attend the most valuable sessions. Every tradeshow is different, but sessions are usually offered by both exhibiting companies on their products key features as well as industry experts on various trending topics.
Another great asset of attending a tradeshow is the chance to attend a keynote speaker session. Often, industry tradeshows recruit experts or well-known individuals from outside the industry to speak. These sessions are extremely thought-provoking, inspiring, and definitely worth attending while at a tradeshow.
Network with industry professionals
One of the most important reasons to attend a tradeshow is the opportunity to network with your peers. While attending breakout sessions, you will be able to connect with other individuals with similar focuses in the industry.
There usually are Q&A sessions at the end of each breakout, empowering you to relate to other attendees while learning from one another. There will be attendees that share the same obstacles, questions, and specialties, which will allow you to gain access to invaluable resources and connections.
Lastly, attending a tradeshow is fun! Between the organized night events to the exhibit hall games, contests, and prizes, there is so much to do while attending a tradeshow.
The social events make it easy to arrive at a tradeshow alone and wind up with some new professional contacts and friends. Take notice of the social events and be sure to attend them, as networking during these night events is just as important as doing so in breakout sessions.
Tradeshows are hosted all over the country; so be sure to prioritize your specific purpose for attending and the content while keeping location in mind. It is always worthwhile to explore a new city while learning and growing in your career.
To learn how Advicent can help your firm stay relevant in a rapidly changing industry, click here.