How the Plan A Team Makes the Most of Trade Shows and Conferences

An email slides into your inbox, it’s an invitation to an out-of-town conference/trade show. Can you say road trip?

A great way to get out of the office, hang out with colleagues and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the office. We get to relax, socialize and slow down the pace. Wrong! Working with Plan A means always bringing your A-game!

While on conference we are encouraged to step outside our comfort zone, network with as many people as we can find to meet new and interesting people and hopefully bring back a little something from it.

Our A Team can always be spotted in a crowd, we’re easily identifiable by our branded apparel.

We attend as many information sessions as we possibly can and try not to double up on the presentations so we can gather and share new and exciting information. The stories, oh the stories you will hear and maybe a famous celebrity might just be the guest speaker and put you to tears with their humor and storytelling.

As a change of scenery, we step onto the trade room floor and you can feel the shift in energy. Thousands of people walking around scoping out the hundreds of booths with new and innovative products and demonstrations. I know what you’re thinking… how do I strike up a conversation with a complete stranger? A trade show in my opinion is the best place to practice. I open up with what I see first, which is usually a compliment on the great looking booth and from there, a conversation is born. Sometimes the booth may not have as much appeal and the message isn’t clear so it makes it harder to find an opening statement, or the conversation might be struggling. This is the perfect opportunity to practice exiting a conversation, politely.

By the end of the line, you’ll probably have acquired a bag full of loot and gifts from all the vendors you visited and find yourself thinking it’s time to invest in a new pair of shoes!

Moving on to the main event… the hype of the convention. Every convention has a theme and the theme of a recent event that Plan A team attended was a wedding ceremony/dinner reception at Together We Care, Canada’s largest gathering of long-term care and retirement home professionals. As part of The A Team, we’re always on our game so we decided to attend the event as bridesmaids dressed in black with green fascinators in our hair to stand out in the crowd. This dinner reception gave our team a chance to have some fun. The entertainment staff got attendees dancing and taking part in the wedding with a few unrehearsed roles.

But as all good stories must come to an end, I must close acknowledging the organizers of this event who did an amazing job utilizing every hour of the day creating the ultimate conference, which I think will be tough to beat. Last but not least I’d like to acknowledge a great leader who sees the value in our office staff attending such events. It pushes us to open doors to new opportunities, contacts, insights and hopefully bring back some new, innovative and fresh ideas to The A Team.

Jennifer-Contributor

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