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Coming to KnowledgeFest? Arrive with a Mission

By Chris Cook

We’ve gathered the best available education, supplier displays and much more. What you do with it is up to you.

I just finished reviewing some of the responses from the magazine’s latest industry survey, which focuses on KnowledgeFest. It asks questions about the main benefits of the show for attendees as well as how respondents rate KnowledgeFest against other events in terms of value to their business. But there was one response that did not show up in the Stats section on page 10. Those who responded “Not sure yet” on whether they were attending KnowledgeFest were asked what the most important factor was in determining whether they would go or not.

More than “Cost” or “In-store obligations,” the overwhelming answer was “Value of the Event.”

That’s good and bad—bad because it means we can do a better job of communicating the value of KnowledgeFest. But good because it shows that retailers are thinking about things the right way. Businesses are prioritizing long-term success over short-term profitability.

So, for those of you on the fence, I’ll make the case for attending KnowledgeFest now.

Show and Tell: There is a lot to see and hear on the exhibit floor. The best suppliers in our industry bring their A-Game to KnowledgeFest. They exhibit with the hope they will make a positive impact on your business and on their own.

Learning the Products: The Dallas KnowledgeFest will deliver over 70 hours of high-quality education directly from your favorite suppliers. This is an opportunity like no other. A place to learn what you need to know about every technology our industry has to offer.

Back to School: Gaining valuable insight for your business is a must to survive. KnowledgeFest delivers the education you need to thrive in an ever-changing industry.

Meet and Greet: No more phone calls, texts and Facebook. Your next conversation will be face-to-face with both old friends and new.

Celebrating Success: And then there’s the industry awards. An evening that will become a wonderful memory for many as we honor those in our industry. The Mobile Electronics Industry Awards will recognize those who have excelled above the rest.

We’ve assembled the best group of vendors, instructors and industry professionals to provide you the opportunity to excel in your business or career. But the one component that will guarantee you get the most from KnowledgeFest is … you. If you come to Dallas with the idea of hanging out with friends, taking in a few free vendor dinners, sleeping late and attending only the popular fabrication or OEM integration classes, the show is going to be a waste for you. But if you want to maximize your ROI on away-from-the-shop time by heading home with knowledge to immediately impact sales, here are the steps:

Have a plan before your plane takes off or before you shop for road trip snacks. Look through the class schedule and make reservations for each so you can print out an itinerary. This is important: Don’t pick the classes that are popular just because everybody else is doing it. Think about the knowledge you need for your business and select the courses that fill those needs.

Plan your exhibit floor time in sections over three days. You can only take in so much information before your eyes—and brain—glaze over. Look at the show floor and plan to cover it in segments with one section per day. Then, spend real time with the vendors to understand their product lines. Each of them has spent good money so they can be here to spend that time with you, so take advantage. But after you’ve completed the section, take a mental break.

See your vendors, then see more vendors. On the show floor, keep an open mind and see all of the vendors there. You never know what product you’ll need down the line, even if you don’t have the need right now. The same goes for vendor trainings: see your vendors, then pick three or four trainings on new companies.

Don’t skip the networking time. Keynotes, town hall meetings and casual get-together sections are great opportunities to meet like-minded professionals who may have answers to problems you’re experiencing. Or, your experience might help them thorough a complicated situation. Plus, it’s nice to develop contacts you can call throughout the year to get and give advice.

I make no additional money by telling you that KnowledgeFest is an absolute must for any industry professional. If I were still doing retail, it would be the one event series that would be marked on my calendar, mainly because of the collection of talent, knowledge and opportunity gathered in one place. So come to Dallas with a mission. You’ll leave with hope, purpose and opportunity.

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 July 2018 11:40
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