How to get the most out of in-person conventions
It seems like an eternity since we had last connected at the lawn care conference GIE, not to mention the pest convention PestWorld, or the TCI arborist trade show. This fall, we couldn’t be more excited to meet face to face and catch up. Large conferences such as these can be overwhelming. In this blog, we will address some tips on how to maximize your time at shows this year and access the best networking opportunities.
The Early Bird Catches the… best deal
When it comes to finding the right trade show, research is key. Most if not all lawn care, pest control, and arborist expos offer early bird pricing, saving you money and, where necessary, allowing you to access the best hotel deals. Another benefit of registering early is gaining exclusive access to pre-registration for events at the show, such as educational sessions where you can gain credits.
You know what they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. Whatever the size of the event you want to attend, planning is a crucial part of getting exactly what you need from the event. Once the event schedule has been published online, you can go ahead and identify the sessions and booths that hold the most value to you.
Ready, Set, Show!
Once the big day arrives make sure you have your badge ready. Due to Covid protocols, this year many trade shows will exclusively use electronic badge scanning to track attendance. Ensuring that your online profile is complete with any relevant license information is vital. This is especially important if you plan on earning credits during the show, failing to add the relevant information could result in those credits falling through the cracks as the organizers will not be able to submit the credits to the relevant body. Your badge is also a great way to share your information with vendors and connections at the show.
At the lawn care conference, GIE, we joined Aspire and ServiceTitan at booth 1164. The best way for you to get the information you need is through us scanning your badge. This means that in just a matter of minutes, you can gather and store information from vendors about the solutions you are interested in.
Trade shows are also a great place to network. Be on the lookout for events that are of interest to you and prepare to network until you drop. From breakfasts to happy hours to educational sessions, make sure to check the pest, lawn, or arbor convention schedule to avoid missing out.
At PestWorld there are a whole host of events to meet with fellow pest management professionals. For many years, ServicePro has sponsored the Professional Women in Pest Management breakfast. It has grown in popularity year on year, but its ethos of mutual encouragement and growth has remained the same. At the last in-person PestWorld, NPMA CEO Dominique Stumpf recalled the pivotal beginnings of the networking breakfast back in 2004:
Thereafter, we really started connecting and making sure we can inspire women in the industry to continue to be engaged and involved, and help one another grow in their careers in this fantastic industry,Dominique Stumpf, NPMA CEO
At this year’s PestWorld, which promises to be the largest pest control exhibition in 2021, we look forward to even higher numbers.
Social Media is also a great way to connect with fellow attendees and vendors, and also to let your contacts know you will be attending. All trade shows will have a dedicated show hashtag that you can use to help more people see your post, and find you at the trade show. You can also tag the show and vendors that you would like to connect with to make it as easy as possible to stay in the loop about any relevant activities.
Don’t forget to follow up post-show
The trade show may be over but what you do afterward is just as important. Ensure that you capitalize on the great conversations had and connections made during the show by following the following steps.
First of all, be methodical. During the show, you will gather a number of business cards associated with different areas of your interest. Add reminders to your calendar to remind you to reach out to the connections. Make sure to reach out to the contacts you made at the event within two business days of the trade show ending and be sure to offer an opportunity to connect again soon.
Secondly, be specific in your follow-up. When crafting emails to the contacts made at the trade show be sure to include any specific topics that were discussed in the conversation. Last but not least, try to include a personal touch. Whether the person mentioned their football team, their kid’s college, or whatever else came up, making reference to this personal information will make your email stand out from the rest.