Trade Shows and Business Conferences (Part 3)

May 29, 2013

Continuing on business conferences:

Many business conferences to have an exhibit hall, usually as a secondary feature, including vendors or even sponsors aiming to sell to the kind of companies that are attracted to that conference. Do not forget to take a look throughout the hall. As you know who is representing your competitor at the meeting (you had better by now), take a few minutes when you wander the hall to see where they are. Have they visited an exhibitor or vendor that is out of the ordinary? Make a mental note of this and don’t forget to record it in your written notes at the end of the conference.

 If you are working the conference with others from your firm, try to get together before you all leave the conference and compare notes on what you’ve seen, what you have learned, and most importantly, what you did not hear about. Do not wait until you get back to the office to do this. By that time you will have lost focus on the meeting and it will be difficult to get all of you together again quickly (if at all).

If you attend the meeting alone, take some time to make notes about meeting and whatever insights you’ve developed on your competitors. A good time to do this is NOT while you are sitting in some uncomfortable waiting area at an airport, an hour before you have to board. Make sure that you are writing your notes where other people can see you. I cannot say how many times people run into representatives of their competitors in airports and on board the plans, in some cases not knowing there were there. Under no circumstances should you dictate notes in a public place where anyone could conceivably hear you do the dictation. If you feel compelled dictate your notes, of use a function like Dragon Naturally Speak, go back to your room before you check out and dictate them there.

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