When it comes to choosing which business and networking events to attend, time is money. No matter what industry your company’s a part of, whether it be technology, finance, retail, healthcare, etc., getting face time with other executives in your field is extremely beneficial.
Over 1,500 networking conferences are hosted each year in the United States alone. So, how do you decide which ones are worth attending?
Well, that depends on what you’ re looking for. There are pretty significant differences between attending a giant exhibition versus a smaller, more intimate event.
Of course there are perks to both, but this is about making the most of your time. It’s important to align the events you choose to attend with your specific business goals.
First of all, it’s always important to make connections online or on the phone before attending an event. You’ll want to know who is attending a particular event as well as why they’re choosing to do so. Most online event pages will provide a list of attendees, which makes it easier to make these connections as well as evaluate your own relevance to the event.
Any connections you make initially can lead to even more contacts before, during, and after the event takes place.
Trade Shows and Exhibiting
“Conferences are really like parties, and an A-list party is one where A-list people are in attendance. You figure out who are the really important people to invite and get them to show up as speakers or as guests. Then everybody wants to be there. If you don’t know who the important people are, you shouldn’t be doing a conference.” Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Big trade shows and exhibitions are some of the best networking events in the world. They provide attendees with great opportunities to create brand awareness and a platform to promote your product or service to a large and sometimes diverse group of executives.
Because these kinds of events are usually open to the general public, you’re very likely to make valuable connections, or at the very least learn something new. The large audience also allows business executives to get a significant amount of feedback and a general sense of what others think about what you’re company offers.
Attending a large conference is almost always worthwhile if you have the funding to do so.
Between travel costs, creating a display, and time spent away from company headquarters, attending this kind of event can often become a pricey endeavor. But if you have the money available, by all means go for it. It’s no secret, in any industry, that you have to spend money to make money.
The exhibition environment is filled with company executives trying to draw sponsors towards their product or service. This steepens the competition for attention and consequentially grants you less face time with the people you’re there to see, unless you can keep them interested and talking.
It is extremely important to leave a lasting impression, which is why it’s always a good idea to provide sufficient product literature for executives to walk away with.
Big conferences can host upwards of 15,000 attendees, which means a lot of potential online and handshake connections. Events of this magnitude often attract big name executives, but because they’re likely to speak in a huge auditorium crowded with hundreds of people, you’re lucky if can see the whites of their eyes let alone shake their hand.
While its obviously an honor to simply be in the same room as industry giants like Guy Kawasaki and Pat Wadors, but wouldn’t you rather be able to shake their hands and ask them question specific to your company?
That said a lot of industry leaders are starting to see the value in small conferences as of late. In fact, John Sculley, former CEO of both Pepsi and Apple was the keynote speaker at The Millennium Alliance’s biannual Transformational CMO Assembly back in February of last year. This particular event had about 120 C-level marketing executives in attendance, which prompted a more intimate experience and more significant interactions with a man so well respected in the marketing industry.
In today’s culture of smartphones, tablets and noise-cancelling headphones, smaller events like ours offer meaningful engagement with real-life humans. While they may not seem as prestigious as huge exhibitions like CES (Consumer Electronics Show) or The Next Web Conference, smaller events put attendees in an appropriate sized room with the right people.
About CMO Transformation Assembly
Speaking of smaller, more intimate business and networking events, application for the 2nd annual CMO Transformation Assembly is now open. Join The Millennium Alliance at the Four Seasons Hotel, Denver, CO on November 8-9, 2017 for a unique event.
CMOs can witness two industry heavyweights coming together for the first time to debate the future of marketing. Join Miki Racine Berardelli, CEO, KIDBOX & Former President, Digital Commerce & Chief Marketing Officer, EVP, Chico’s FAS and Eileen Campbell, Founder, Womintuition and Former CMO, IMAX & Former Global CEO,Millward Brown during the Keynote Fireside Chat.
The role of the Chief Marketing Officer has drastically changed over the past few years. As new technology enters the already highly complex marketing environment, maximizing budget, resources, and trends is an endless juggling act for CMOs in consumer-driven industries.
A series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions offer you insight into artificial intelligence, omnichannel strategy, cognitive marketing, personalization, MarTech, the data revolution and more!
This is not just another “Digital Marketing” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. If you’re a CMO looking to stay one step ahead of the digital world, reserve your seat here!