Poor prep for any business event can leave you feeling rushed and deflated; running around trying to see everything you had on your agenda for the day, whilst gulping down coffee to keep you going.
And, if you’ve had an invite to a business event that’s not a standard conference/trade show, you even may be wondering what you’re letting yourself in for. What planning do you need to do before you set off for the event? Will your standard event kit be enough? What will you need in your bag to keep you going through the day?
To help, we’ve pulled together a list of 10 must-haves to get you ready for any business event with a difference.
1. Suss out what you want to see
If there’s an agenda, grab a copy and annotate it up before you get to the event. It’ll be impossible for you to see everything whilst you’re there, so prioritise what you want to see and draw big red circles round them in the schedule. Also remember to take it with you, or at least have a copy on your phone, so that you’re sure to not miss out on anything.
2. Stock up on business cards
It may seem old fashioned to be taking business cards to a festival, but they are one of the easiest ways to share your contact details with a new contact. Although they may not mind you putting your number directly into their phone, or scribbling it on a bit of paper, having business cards at the ready means that you’re prepared for any conversational eventuality. You don’t want to miss out on a new contact just because you were too cool for school.
3. Tweet people that you want to see before the event
This might be speakers, influencers or just other festival goers, but by connecting with them on social media before you even get to the event, you’ll be likely to gain more air-time with them. This may take more than a single Tweet, but will be worth it if you get the chance to ask a speaker all of your questions one-to-one.
4. Take a portable charger
Amongst all of the usual kit (pens, notepad, tablet, etc.) make sure that you take a portable power bank with you. This doesn’t just mean that you’ll never run out of charge, but you'll quickly become everyone’s best friend when they’re running out of battery life.
5. Set yourself a goal
You don’t want to be left aimlessly wandering around the site and peeking into breakout sessions half-heartedly. If you’re going to go you might as well make the most of it. By setting a goal for what you want out of the event, you’ll be able to narrow down what you want to see and do more easily. It also means that you’ll come away from the event feeling fulfilled rather than perplexed or that you missed out.
6. Make sure that you know where you’re going
It may sound obvious, but this is particularly true if you’re heading to a new place or relying on public transport to get you there. Ring up or email the organisers to find out the best route and set off ahead of schedule to allow for ‘getting lost’ time. That way you won’t miss out on any of the events.
7. Set up your out of office reply
You don’t want to have your phone buzzing in your pocket all day, but you don’t want to annoy anyone either. Set up an out of office reply, even if it’s just for a morning, so that you don’t come back to an office of angry colleagues who had to deal with your even angrier customers.
8. Register early
If you can register early, do it! You'll be able to get your name down for limited sessions and it’ll save you a lot of stress and fuss in the morning when all you want to do is get to the event and grab a coffee.
9. Wear the right shoes
This may sound crazy, but if you're on your feet all day it's something to really consider. You want to be wearing shoes that are comfy whilst also conforming to the dress code for the event, going in stylish is a great way to grab attention but make sure you can still make it to the end of the day!
10. Get a good night's sleep
Once you’re all set, get a good night’s sleep to make sure that you’re awake and paying attention on the day. After all, if you’ve spent all of this time preparing for it, you need to make sure that you get the most out of it.
Speaking of festivals... if there's one customer experience event you don't want to miss this year, it's Customer Engagement Raveolution 2016. Taking place on the 3rd of November at Hawker House, Canada Water, London we'll be bringing together 300 senior executives for a day of insightful presentations, thought leadership and networking. Follow the link below to find out more!