So You're Attending Your First Forum...

Think of the last trade show you attended. Now subtract the huge exhibition hall, the miles of walking, the petty expenses, the numerous, useless introductions and the free pens. At an appointment-based forum, we cut through the you-know-what and give executives the most productive and efficient format for connecting and learning about solutions they are currently sourcing.

Attendees of an appointment-based forum are stationed comfortably at their own table. They are given a personal itinerary of meetings with solution providers they have chosen in advance and seminars they have opted for. Throw in a high quality pool of personally-invited executives and luxury networking opportunities, and you’ve got the most productive day-and-a-half of the year.

Sounds interesting, right? Here are some tips to optimize on your first appointment-based experience:

Attend Your Meetings!

Scheduling is the foundation of any appointment-based event. Should one attendee fail to show, major behind-the-scenes matchmaking has to take place. This is why we value our attendees highly and do everything possible to ensure the day runs smoothly. Attending your meetings is key to a successful event and leverages your networking opportunity. We understand that life happens – which is why we can work with you to build a flexible schedule around your professional needs (conference calls, late arrivals etc.).

Ditch the Sales Pitch

Appointment-based events are a ‘no hard sell’ zone. Networking at these events is primarily about building relationships rather than immediate sales. People do business with people they like – get to know the person you would potentially work with and their company, then pursue a working relationship.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In an appointment-based setting you are allotted a 30-minute meeting with solution providers on your schedule. For high quality meetings, we advise you to ask questions about available solutions. Should you need more time to discuss the product or service, you may connect with the solution provider during free time.

Listen! Listen! Listen!

Listening on both sides of the table is effective for identifying needs and finding solutions. As Megan Duckett of Sew What, Inc.? said, “Not every communication is an opportunity to blow your own business trumpet. Sometimes you may find yourself sharing information about another company or service that you have heard of.” There are numerous opportunities to share your knowledge and to learn from others at a forum – including seminars. These are conducted in an open-discussion format, where attending executives are able to share what they know to innovate and find solutions to common industry problems.

Relax & Enjoy the Experience

An appointment-based event is a less stressful experience for networking. There are no overwhelming booths or hounding representatives – just intimate, one-on-one meetings for executives seeking new solutions. Taking place in an intimate and luxurious setting, these events are packed with networking activities including meetings, seminars, after-hour activities, meals and receptions.

Do Your Research

In any networking environment, it always helps to research beforehand. Whether this means skimming through the LinkedIn group to see who’s attending, or reading up on some industry news – you will definitely reap the benefits. The best way to make a great first impression is to know your stuff and break the ice by acknowledging your peer’s successes (we advise looking over press releases or following a company on social media).

The Art of the Follow Up

After making connections at the Forum – it does no harm to follow up. Stay true to your word, should you have asked a provider to give you a call, take that call when they make it! Remember that this event’s main purpose is to develop lasting business relationships and follow up is key. In your event program, you will receive the contact information of every attendee and solution provider– it does no harm to reach out to the connections you feel are beneficial.

 

For more information on Forum Events and the industries we are in, visit www.forumevents.com and register online for an event in your industry.

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Tags:   appointment-based  networking  sales  tips

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