What Can You Do to Support Answering Service Industry Events?

6 Tips to Help TAS Associations Have Successful Events

In a prior post we discussed what you can do to support your favorite TAS industry associations.  We gave four tips: become a member, attend their events, volunteer your time, and buy their products. Let’s look specifically at industry events and what you can do to make them more valuable.

Yes, each attendee can do their part to help make a convention, conference, or meeting a success. And if each one does their part, the results add up to a significant outcome. Though a few of our associations have already had their events for the year, most dates are in the spring and fall. This means that now is the time to prepare to make the next TAS industry event you attend be a successful one.

Here are six practical tips you—and everyone else—can apply to produce a winning convention, conference, or meeting.

1. Go to the Complete Event

The first step is easy. You need to be there. This doesn’t just apply to some of the conference but the whole thing. Don’t arrive late or leave early. And certainly don’t duck out in the middle for some personal sightseeing or side trip. Restrict non-work-related activities to before or after the event. Give the convention your complete focus.

2. Establish an Objective

Decide what you want to accomplish at the meeting. There is no right answer that applies to everyone, but there is a right answer for you. You need to determine what it is and plan to accomplish it. Your objective might be to learn industry trends, find out the latest technology tools and developments, or network for possible strategic alliances. Of course, these are just three ideas to get you started in determining your objective for the convention. The key is to know why you’re going and be intentional about fulfilling that why.

3. Commit to Meeting New People

We often talk about the importance of networking at industry events. While this is good, too many people “network” with their friends and acquaintances. Though this is comfortable and easy to do, a more valuable form of networking is to introduce yourself to new people and make new friendships. The goal isn’t to replace your existing network but to supplement it with fresh ideas and newfound enthusiasm. And you can only do this when you become intentional about meeting new people.

4. Focus on the Positive

Great effort goes into planning a convention, conference, or meeting. The goal is always to provide value and make your participation worthwhile. The event planners strive hard to produce a positive environment, but the attendees can either build upon or destroy all that hard work.

First, examine your own attitude. If you’re brimming with expectation for what will happen, this will overflow with a positive vibe and influence how you act and talk. However, if you’re braced for a bad experience, you essentially guarantee it will happen.

Next, look at those you interact with. Gravitate to people who are positive, and steer away from those who are negative. Sadly, some people are negative by nature, and you want to make sure they don’t drag you down to their level of disappointment.

5. Attend Every Session

Yes, the ideal is that every attendee goes to every session. This maximizes your learning opportunities, encourages the presenters (who often feed off their audience), and facilitates the exchange of ideas and the formation of new insights.

Yet sometimes this isn’t feasible. You may have already heard a presentation, or you need to take a bit of a break to pace yourself for the rest of the event. Possibly an important meeting, as prompted by tips two or three, will cause you to preempt a session. If you must miss a session, make sure you miss it for the right reason.

6. Support Vendors

Many industry events have vendor participation. They pay a fee to be present—often a significant one—and look for a quantifiable return on their investment. Ideally, they hope to sell you something, either at the event or in the future.

Even if you don’t buy something from them, be sure to thank them for their participation and for the various sessions and outings they sponsor. A heartfelt “thank you” can go a long way. And don’t just thank the vendors who support your answering service. Thank them all. It’s the right thing to do.

And while you’re at it, thank the event planners and the conference chair.

Conclusion

Go to your next industry event armed with these six tips. Put them into practice, and encourage others to do the same. It might just be one of the best events you ever attend.

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