Conferences and exhibitions are events held to educate and motivate business professionals. Many events are held annually and last anywhere from one day to a week.
These professional events are filled with activities, speeches, and networking opportunities. If you are new to attending a conference or exhibition, you may be unfamiliar with what you can expect and how you should prepare for such an engaging and time-consuming event.
Keep reading to find out what to keep in mind when traveling for conferences and exhibitions.
How you present yourself to other professionals is essential to how well you network.
Therefore, you should complete research on the event to discover how to dress and behave.
Some corporate events are laid back and allow “street clothes”, while some events have a black tie formal dress code.
Additionally, presenting yourself professionally includes the way you interact socially. So, to avoid being deemed unprofessional or uneducated, research the topics covered and speakers that will be at the event. With some basic knowledge of these factors, you will be able to contribute to more conversations amongst fellow attendees.
You may travel for leisure or business often, so you may feel that you know how to pack your luggage. Unfortunately, traveling for a conference or exhibition requires many additional luggage items that are essential to your attendance.
Some essential items include:
- Your event badge
- Your event ticket
- Your confirmation receipts
- Appropraite event attire
- Business cards
- Note-taking materials
- The event address
Forgetting one or more of these items can compromise the success of your time at the time or even disclude you from attending.
MICE is an acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions, and MICE hotels are accommodations dedicated to tourists that travel for these specific events.
Since the travel industry has seen a sizeable increase in MICE travel over the last few years, many property management companies have decided to create lodging options devoted to professionals away on corporate trips.
If the focus of your business trip is meeting, incentive, conference, or exhibition related, you can find accommodations that specifically meet your work needs. These hotels or rentals typically provide a wide range of tools such as wi-fi, computers, printers, meeting rooms, and more.
Your event may be one or multiple days in length, and no matter how long you will be in attendance, you can expect the day to be quite long. Conferences and exhibitions are jam-packed with various programs, speeches, presentations, and social events.
If you are lucky, some events will be seated; however, most events will have you standing all day, sometimes outside. So, prepare for these long days by wearing comfortable shoes and clothes, bringing snacks and water, wearing weather-appropriate attire, and getting enough sleep the night before.
Your comfort makes a large difference in how much information you absorb at the event and how well you socialize. To make the most of your event, prepare for a tiring situation.
Conferences and exhibitions are held for two main purposes. The first purpose is to educate and the second is to offer networking opportunities.
Therefore, you must attend these events prepared to learn and connect.
You can be prepared by:
- Having business cards with you.
- Having your LinkedIn account logged in on your phone and easily accessible.
- Bringing a notebook and pen or tablet/laptop for note taking.
If you are attending an event to expand your business or gain clients, you should have an elevator pitch ready. An elevator pitch is a brief and relaxed speech that specifies who you are and what you do.
Lastly, finding time to relax before and after your event is essential for your mental and physical well-being.
Conferences and exhibitions can be stressful because of the pressure put upon us to succeed and walk away with new perspectives and knowledge. Unfortunately, when we are stressed, absorbing information and communicating effectively can be difficult.
Therefore, relaxation must be a priority before attendance so you can arrive with a clear mind in addition to after your event so that you can reflect on the information and process it adequately.