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Your Exhibit Hall Questions, Answered! Insider Tips to Make Exhibit Hall Time Fun (Part 4)

Thursday, February 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Paige Adkins, Industry Relations
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This is Part 4 of 4 of the AAOE Annual Conference Exhibit Hall series. Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 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: What if I’m not interested in purchasing from that exhibitor, is it okay to talk with them still?

Brandon Phillips, COO, Physicians Rehab Solution: I have yet to have  a conversation at the AAOE Annual Conference with an attendee that was not worthwhile. There is tremendous networking opportunity whether you’re currently looking to use a certain company/service or not, as we’re all in the same industry.  It’s not uncommon for me to introduce someone I have met at my booth, who may not need my service, to another vendor in an area they are considering.  Additionally,  when you speak with an exhibitor you’re not currently looking to work with, it’s still an introduction, and your situtation and practice could change over the next year or two.  I would just say to be protective of your Exhibit Hall time. You’ll find that your time is very limited. If you’re not interested in a particular company and have other exhibitors you still need to talk to, it’s okay to politely let them know you don’t have time.


Raleigh Hayter, AAOE Annual Conference member volunteer: I think that hits the nail on the head. It’s just about being open, being respectful of your time, and being kind and respectful to the representative manning the Exhibit Booth.




AAOE: If this is an attendee’s first time attending the AAOE conference, what is the best piece of advice you can give them?

Phillips: This isn’t necessarily specific to the Exhibit Hall, but I would really try to find a couple of mentors who can help guide you through the conference. These can be more senior members of AAOE who can help show you the “lay of the land” and introduce you to other members. You can pick thier brains about what you’re trying to achieve as a practice executive, and they can help you figure out how to approach the Exhibit Hall and how to pick sessions appropriately. AAOE members value their community, and they want to help each other.

Hayter: I would also emphasize the importance of networking at the conference. I would even try to take the opportunity to start doing that before you get to the conference. If you can, I would recommend trying to find longtime members you can connect with. These are members who you can ask questions about the conference and how to take advantage of everything offered during the conference. Also, put away any shyness and get out there as much you can. Try to meet people who come from practices like yours and just get out there and chat with people.

AAOE Tip: Check out events going on at the conference for new members and first-time attendees.


AAOE: Anything else you think is important for attendees to know about visiting the Exhibit Hall?

Phillips: One thing I would add is to just know how tight the conference schedule is with everything that’s going on. If there’s an exhibitor who you really want to talk to but you’re unable to meet with them during the Exhibit Hall hours, see if they can set up some time outside of the conference hours.

Hayter: Go to the conference ready to learn, but don’t be afraid to have fun! It’s a very social interaction and a really exciting place. The exhibitors try really hard to make it a lighthearted and fun experience. If you know what you’re trying to get done when you walk into the Exhibit Hall, you’ll be much more comfortable.


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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