I have been in the meetings and events industry for about 25 years.
Ever since I started in this industry, I have attended industry shows like IMEX, ibtm, The Meeting Show etc. Sometimes I attended as a Hosted Buyer, sometimes as a visitor and other times as a speaker. There is always a reason to be at those shows.
The main reasons for me are staying up to date with new developments, networking, learning and preparing for new collaborations with amazing industry professionals.
I love exchanging thoughts and experiences with other industry professionals.
Why is it that I never seem to have enough time for that?
More and more educational content has been added to the shows in the last years, which I absolutely embrace. When you take time out of the office and attend an industry show, you should make the most out of it, and bring back some new insights.
The organizers do a great job in providing content and possibilities that people learn and exchange. It seems though as if they want to push as much into this limited time as they possibly can. It is good, for people to have a choice, but the more choices you have the more you can lose yourself in them and the less time you have for them.
I feel that the right concept for a good mix of booth meetings, educational sessions and networking activities needs yet to be designed.
We are a people’s industry and we do business with the people we know and like. Thus, a booth conversation as an introduction, has to be followed up and deepened at a social event. An inspiration from a good speech has to be followed up by conversations with other eventprofs.
If we run from meeting to meeting and squeeze in some educational content to finally make it all exhausted to the social networking event in the evening, where we chat with people we already know, we will not get the most out of the attendance of this show.
I think it is time we slowed down the industry shows and create some more time for building up relations in-between.
Try it! You will see how it works!