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8 Ways To Work Smarter, Not Harder at Conferences

Tricks of the Trade to get the most out of the upcoming trade fairs and conferences

At Kigo, we’re heading to both the World Travel Market in London and the Vacation Rental Manager Association annual conference in New Orleans this month. We’ve been looking at the ways to make our exhibition the best it can be. Time is scarce at events and it can be easy to lose sight of your objectives in the melee. Proper planning and a bit of information about the event can help you get so much more from conferences and trade fairs. With this is mind, we’ve been looking at the best ways to plan ahead and get the best return from the investment that attending these events entails for any business.

We thought we’d share with you some of the tips we picked up, so you can make the most out of your experiences at upcoming events like VRMA at the WTM.

Conférence NWX2012 (Normandy Web Xperts) à H2o, quai de Boisguilbert à Rouen

Download the App
Big events, such as WTM, will have an app that you can download to help you navigate the fair, and prioritise your time. This gives you a map, a schedule and even the means to exchange messages with other attendees all in one place. It will help you plan and execute your plans from the moment you download and will be indispensable when you’re at the event.

Be Social
Before, after and during the event. Connect with the event, share your thoughts and experiences and interact with the organisers and other people attending. There are blogs, infographics and videos being posted all the time that will give you great information about the people and events that your business should aim to meet at every event.

Use the Hashtags
Stay on top of social media by using the official hashtag for each event. Using these hashtags means you can keep up to date with updates and join the conversation before the event even starts. Social media gives you the chance to follow live updates and gauge the most popular topics so you have the clearest information of the most useful areas of the event before you even set foot in the room.

We’re following and getting involved with #VRMA2015 and #WTM2015 so far which is helping us choose the events and discussions we want to join.

Know What You Want
Plan what you want to achieve from attending, whether it’s generating more leads or networking, have a goal and stick to it. Trade fairs and conferences are built to contain everything you could want to see and learn about so you have to be determined and have a clear idea of which booths and events will bring you the most eventual benefit.

Plan Who You Want To Meet
These events can be overwhelming. You can end up getting lured into booths you never intended to visit. Planning ahead will give your days structure and allow you to wade through the chaos. Check the itinerary and locate the booths and businesses that you know you are going to want to meet. There are always going to things to see and people to meet that you could never plan for, as well as people that you will be unable to meet, but a basic structure will allow you to do far more.

Set Appointments
The best booths are going to be busy. Don’t waste time waiting in line when you could be seeing other areas and exhibitions. Most companies will allow you to set a specific time to come and see them and get their undivided attention. At Kigo, you can choose your time to meet our team at VRMA and WTM, as well as just coming to the booth and saying hello!

Use The Business Card Trick
Keep a stash of fresh cards in your right pocket, receive cards to your left pocket with notes about the person who gave it to you written on the back. This will keep things organised and give you handy information you may forget later.

Finally...Test The Competition
If you’re travelling, why not use this opportunity to stay in a vacation rental property? An occasional test of a competitor is an easy way to see where your business ranks in terms of price and service. Events are all about learning and about making your business more appealing and this is the perfect practical example to add some extra value to your trip.

These tips will help you spend your time at conferences more effectively and waste less time in crowds and queues. Preparation and a bit of planning mean that you will see more of the people and products that will add the most value to your business.

We hope to see you at booth #702 at VRMA and Travel Tech stand 359 at WTM.

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