Whether you are a rookie or a pro, conferences can get to you. IoT World 2018 is a huge conference and in my experiences over the years, I have seldom met people who say that they have cracked the code to be “successful” at a conference.
Now successful can mean a lot of things, depending on which side of the table you are at.
However, largely speaking, it would mean that you have achieved whatever objective you had set out to achieve during the conference.
But, know what the funny part is? Majority of the people don’t have a set objective for a conference. (Bar the sales reps – their objectives are singular. To achieve more Sales!)
If you are reading this, chances are you would like to crack the code to be “successful” at the IoT World conference.
Let’s dive in then, shall we?
Fundamentals for IoT World 2018
Ask yourself this – Why am I attending IoT World?
A. It is “THE BEST CONFERENCE” on earth!
A. Because they have advertised “Cool Stuff” is going to happen!
A. I want to network and know what is actually happening in the industry -Product Launches!
A. It is my KRA.
A. Everybody from my circle is attending.
A. Because if you are working on/with IoT, the conference is a must.
The answers to above questions may reveal that you are attending it just because of the “status quo”.
Which is alright, as long as you can draw a purpose to it.
It doesn’t need to be a strategy document.
But like a couple of pointers where you actually talk to yourself and understand why you are attending it – giving yourself an objective.
On the flip side you could have a genuine reason – Checking out the competition (Act like a customer, haven’t we all done that?), wanting to hear a specific session, or meet some specific person. (I have also heard that people want to attend to check out the food stalls! – Not particularly a productive reason, but it does have an objective.)
Whatever it might be – the cool stuff, the lineup of the speakers, competition or even status quo.
It will help you prioritize during the rigorous days of IoT World conference.
Pro Tip : Connect with people who have attended this conference before. Ask them how it goes. Chances are they will give you a healthy insight into it. It will help you gauge whether you will be able to meet your objective or not.
It gets overwhelming
Even the best of the best succumbs to the packed schedule of the events. Take a look at this –
This is the pre-conference workshop schedule for IoT World 2018!
Not only IoT World, other conferences tend to have similar schedules.
Now look at this –
This is the schedule of Strata Conference.
This is the schedule for just 3 hours for the Strata Conference.
Even Doctor Strange with his Time Stone would find it difficult to attend most of them.
That’s the thing with conferences. There is too much going on.
The organizers want to cover all aspects of the theme and hence go aggressive with the scheduling, leaving mortal souls like us to figure out where we want to be!
Add to the mix all the booths and the equation becomes even more interesting.
Did you know that in IoT world 2018 there are more than 300+ exhibitors and a separate startup village showcasing startups in the IoT segment! That is more than 500+ booths to look at!
Pro Tip : Join in the discussion. Events have dedicated apps, groups etc. The community answers FAQs, more Pro Tips, Dos and Donts etc.
Link to Iot World Discussion – https://connect.jujama.com/Attendee/Welcome.aspx
How do we get the time?
Prioritize. Easier said than done?
Let me tell you how.
A lot of it comes down to this. In the fundamental section, if you have drawn a clear objective in mind you will observe how you can manage your time brilliantly and boss the conference.
Four things are most important.
- Register yourself online. Beat the queue. (I have wasted 2 hours in big conferences just to get in!)
- Get a map. (Before the conference.)
- Make a checklist. (See what sessions you must attend. See the booths that seem relevant and interesting. – Map a way you would be taking during the conference. The expo halls are huge. Charting out a way seems silly but saves a lot of time!)
- Get there early. (Especially if you are attending day 2. This is the time where you will find it less crowded and booths relatively less occupied.)
These steps will help you beat the crowd, get quality time with companies and ofcourse, help you to be in time for all the events you have planned for.
A lot of companies setting up a booth have started to take meeting slots in their booths. It is important to note this because –
- You get dedicated time with the reps. Ask question and have a quality discussion.
- You might not get quality time with the reps because they might be pre-booked!
So, it is always a good idea to look the company up and see if they are taking any registrations and help them know why you would like to meet.
As an example of how we as exhibitors do this – http://www.cuelogic.com/iot
It really does help us to organize time better and make quality discussions.
We never schedule these meetings for direct sales.
It is always to know the person and their problems better.
Prioritizing is all about Time Management and Organization, to be honest.
Seems like a cliché, but one can’t help it.
Not doing it will lead to missing out the good stuff in conferences.
Pro Tip – Send yourself calendar invites. Do this for the entire day(s) you are in the conference. Block time for attending sessions, visiting booths and even for food. (Food areas are a great place to network)
Making it work
If you look at it from a broad perspective – there are two things to do before attending IoT World.
- Understanding why you are attending it.
- Preparing for it.
Conferences have a lot going on.
It is easy to get lost in the environment.
Therefore, it is important to not lose track of what you have prioritized.
Don’t try to stuff in too much.
Always keep buffer time, simply because you will need it.
Sessions will overrun, meetings will overrun, there will always be delays.
Conferences at the end of the day are what you make out of them.
Agree? Share with me your experiences of conferences that you have attended!
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