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Set Your Exhibit Hall Fears Aside: Insider Tips to Make Exhibit Hall Time Fun (Part 3)

Thursday, January 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Paige Adkins, Industry Relations
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This is Part 3 of 4 of the AAOE Annual Conference Exhibit Hall series. Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 now. 


Make the most of your time at the AAOE Annual Conference Exhibit Hall with advice from industry insiders -- two vendor representatives on the AAOE Industry Relations Advisory Board and an AAOE member volunteer on the Annual Conference Committee. Because the Exhibit Hall isn't just a great place to talk to industry representatives who understand your product and service needs -- it can also be a lot of fun!


AAOE: For some attendees, it can be intimidating to walk through the Exhibit Hall. What do you think attendees should know to ease any concerns?


Patti Steffon, Trade Show Specialist, Carestream Health Inc.: Since it’s so intimidating when you walk into that Exhibit Hall, I think we have to harken back to that first question when we said find out who you want to see, look at the Exhibit Hall map, and know where you want to go. When I’ve gone to conferences, I often take the time to just stand in the Exhibit Hall for a minute to get my bearings straight. Then I zero in on who I want to see.


Brandon Phillips, COO, Physicians Rehab Solution: I think that it’s important to know that if an exhibitor is giving away something at their booth that you want – like a pen, candy, signing up for a giveaway – don’t be reluctant to participate. Exhibitors bring swag because they want to give it to you. I appreciate how respectful attendees are, but don’t feel like you can only take something from an exhibitor if you’re planning to sign on the dotted line. Even if you’re unsure or do not have a strong interest, an exhibitor will still be happy that you took something to hang around your office.

Also, I know sometimes you might be worried that the Exhibit Hall will be like walking past kiosks at the mall with aggressive salespeople. Just be prepared with a canned response to give if an exhibitor tries talking to you and you’re not interested. It’s perfectly okay to say “No, thank you” or “No, I appreciate it, but I’m good.” We’re all big boys and girls, and you won’t hurt our feelings.

Raleigh Hayter, AAOE Annual Conference member volunteer: I think it’s also important for attendees to remember that the exhibitors are our partners at this conference. There’s so much that’s done at the conference that’s only possible because the exhibitors are there. Keep that in mind when you’re interacting with them, and remember that attendees and exhibitors are in the Exhibit Hall for the same reasons. Exhibitors are trying to make connections and learn about your business, and you’re trying to learn about their business and see if there’s a connection.


AAOE: Why is it important that attendees not miss this opportunity?

Hayter –You will never have as easy access to the information of what’s available in the market as you will at the conference, period. You would have to spend hours and days and weeks online trying to learn about these products and services to gain as much information as you can talking to vendors in the Exhibit Hall. I think we might undersell the value of the education attendees can gain from the exhibitors.


What's Next?

If you haven't already, register for the AAOE 2018 Annual Conference April 14-17 in Orlando, Florida to make sure you don't miss this valuable opportunity to meet with industry representatives. As a reminder, the price of registration increases February 14 when the Early Bird deal expires, so don't wait! Register today.

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