The Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries (ISRI) conference is right around the corner in Nashville, Tennessee on April 17th to 20th 2023. The team at AMCS (an “Opening Act” headliner sponsor) is excited to greet you at booth 1524 – right across the aisle from Hospitality Suite #3 and the member lounge.
Now that in-person conferences are back in full swing, we recommend you spend some time planning to get the best networking, learning, and technology ROI on your conference expenditures!
As much as we’d want you to spend the entire conference with us, there are going to be a lot of other things to see, things to learn, and people to meet. So here is a present from us to you – a checklist of suggested ways to prepare and get the most out of your conference money and time investment.
1. Discuss and identify the challenges you are trying to solve and topics you want to learn about
ISRI has a lot of stuff to learn this year. Convene your team well before travel and review the major challenges you face and how you think speakers and vendors may help shed light on improvements. Your thoughts may be prodded by evaluating the conference agenda and topics and the vendor list. Don’t wait until the last minute to mull over how the conference will best help you.
If you have a lot of vendors and sessions to cover and you have multiple people, be sure to have a plan to divide and conquer well ahead of the conference.
2. Save the conference agenda and the exhibitor list and map (print if you must)
It’s always handy to have your own small conference agenda or exhibitor map with you, either on paper (shrink and double-side it!) or your phone. Save the conference links and PDFs in a handy place.
3. Prepare a small paper (or e-Ink) notebook template or prepare a notes app on your phone
If you like paper (or an e-Ink notebook like I do), set up a template page or outline that has one page or area per vendor and per session. Jot down (or type) key notes for each vendor or session. The act of writing them down will help you remember – and, of course, you will have notes to refer to. If your whole team uses a similar approach, it will be easier to compare notes, synthesize thoughts, and address your challenges after the conference.
Here’s some important things to note in writing or typing before and after each visit (or each day)
- Vendor or Session Name
- Top three things to ask about before your visit
- Top three people to meet or say hello to at the booth or session
- Top three key things you learned
- Follow-up actions (if any)
4. Collaborate digitally at the conference
If your team is used to it, set up a shared Google Doc or Office 365 multi-user document so that you can collaborate in real-time across the conference. Create a Microsoft Teams or a Slack channel or group text for the conference. Pin your notes document to the channel or in a link in the first text in the chain. Assign actions and notable things to one another or create alerts by tagging team members. Be sure that each team member can see open time slots on the others’ calendars.
5. Review the speakers, their topics, and their LinkedIn profiles
To be sure that your “top three” lists can be properly addressed, spend some time reviewing the speaker and their topics on the ISRI event website under the “Recycling's Got Talent” heading.
6. Speaking of LinkedIn, learn how to use your LinkedIn QR codes
More and more people are foregoing paper business cards. Sure, vendors will “scan you” – but what about when you want to connect with someone at a vendor? Or a speaker? Or a peer?
Did you know that LinkedIn can quickly show a QR code on its mobile app that you can show to someone else to quickly scan and connect? Here’s some recommendations on this:
- Do a quick web search to show you how to create and scan LinkedIn QR codes. It’s a bit different on iOS and Android.
- Once you scan someone, make sure that when their LinkedIn profile appears you click connect! It is easy to scan and then forget the “Connect” step.
- If you have the time, make sure to use your digital or paper notebook to jot down a sentence about why you connected with that person. Sort of like the old days when you wrote it on the back of their business card.
7. Book meetings ahead of time when you can
Whether you want to meet with a vendor, a presenter, a friend, or a peer be sure to book early! Many attendee’s time slots will disappear fast – so if there is an essential meeting or demo or networking task you want to do, reach out. People are using the hashtag #isri2023 on socials. Also, many vendors will have pre-show emails and LinkedIn posts.
8. Plan your parties
Not every vendor or group will publicize their final party plan ahead of time due to headcount constraints or venue changes. Keep your antennae up!
Spending a little time planning now will help make your experience at ISRI 2023 more relaxed and valuable. See you there!
Book a meeting at ISRI 2023 here: https://makingmore.amcsgroup.com/l/216792/2023-03-08/dlvl32
Gary Dietz is the North American Product Marketing Manager for AMCS. He will be at ISRI in Nashville and is looking forward to meeting and learning from and with you. You can connect with Gary at https://www.linkedin.com/in/garymdietz/ or [email protected]
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