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The PDMA Annual Conference Is Upon Us!

  • 1.  The PDMA Annual Conference Is Upon Us!

    Posted 10-25-2019 19:35
    Seven years ago I wrote one of the only posts that more than 10 people have read.  It was entitled:

    Are you a successful conference attendee?

    As this year's Annual Conference approaches, I'm once again reminded of this post and so I thought I'd share the highlights of what a successful conference attendee is with you here:

    1) You need to meet people – but not everyone. Be assertive and research the attendees and exhibitors ahead of time and pick the ones you know you want to go see and go see them. Be a good corporate citizen though, and don't waste exhibitors time. If you have no desire in working with a group or buying their products, leave them be. In my opinion, you're being a good corporate citizen because you're not providing them with distracting false leads.

    2) You need to attend sessions and observe – don't just attend and listen to the presentation. Watch the crowd, measure their response to the topic. Observe their body language and of course, if people start leaving before the session is over, take note and try to figure out why. Every presenter is different and just because people don't seem interested in a session doesn't necessarily mean it's because they don't like the content – perhaps it's the delivery. Conversely, if people stay until the end and seem to have a good time, follow the pack out and listen. Some presenters are just entertaining but what they had to present was not compelling. This is a great source of macro-level market intelligence.

    3) You need to mingle – but don't be that guy. You know who I'm talking about. That guy who surfs the bar during the conference cocktail party endlessly. Spend some time, engage with folks. Don't be afraid to hang with one group all night if you seem to gel with them. It takes a balanced approach and in my opinion, deals are made or broken at the cocktail hour. If you seem like you're hunting and not really interested in people, people tend to not trust you. If you seem like you're clingy, people think you're desperate for business. Be sure to connect with anyone you said you would see later at the party and above all else, have fun – but not too much fun!

    If you'd like to read the full article you can find it here:

    Ernie Harris
    Interesting Blazer
    Saint Petersburg FL

  • 2.  RE: The PDMA Annual Conference Is Upon Us!

    Posted 10-27-2019 16:06
    I agree with you Ernie, I have always found conferences be a great experience for some attendees but not too much for others. The small talks really don't build the network and relationship. I agree also that every session has something to provide, content, style, idea ..etc.

    Best of luck in the conference this year

    Seif Abdelghany
    Local Category Manager
    Electrolux Major Appliance
    10th of Ramadan