• Forward Thinking EDU

6/19/2017 Attending #ISTE17? Make the Most of Your Conference

Thanks to Ellen Cleary Ruane, Forward Thinking EDU Advisor, for her blog post this week!  EDU Companies attending #ISTE17 - Contact Ellen or Michael Campbell to see how we can help your organization achieve better-than-market rusults!  

I blinked and the end of June is fast upon us.  You know what that means?  It's almost time for #ISTE2017!  Vendors and educators alike meet face-to-face to deepen their understanding of the impact of technology on education across the globe.  It's a time to share without the pressure of the school year, and it's where innovation is uncovered and recognized.  How are you going to have the best possible #ISTE2017?  Assuming you have already figured out your customer contact strategy, here are a few easy-to-implement ideas for making the most out of the upcoming opportunity.

  1. Identify whom you need to meet at #ISTE17 and make it happen.  Whether this is a specific individual, a VP of whatever competing firm, or someone on the cutting-edge of classroom technology, make a list and make it happen. Request a meeting before the show. Offer to meet up for breakfast or other non-customer facing times. Attend a session they are facilitating.  It is reasonable and important to have goals around exactly who you need to see in order to call #ISTE17 a success.

  2. Walk the exhibit hall like a customer, not a vendor.  What does the customer see?  What is grabbing your attention?  What trends can you identify?  If you walk the hall as a customer, you will not only understand the educator experience , but also uncover new ideas to improve your booth traffic for your next show or campaign.  Most importantly, you will see vendors you have never noticed, perhaps because you don't directly compete.  But you do - for mind share, for focus, and for budgeted dollars in many ways.

  3. Network, network, network.  Escalators, coffee lines, cab queues - each offers the opportunity to connect and talk about someting entirely unrelated to "buy my stuff." Whether it's a vendor or an educator you find yourself standing with, strike up a conversation. Ask them what they have learned, their favorite presentation, and their plans for social activities.  Networking is two way, so don't forget to share something you have learned.  We only get smarter, and more interesting together!

  4. Make the time to attend at least one session about something that genuinely interest you. Is it strictly relevant to what your current job or firm? Great! Is it just something that caught your eye?  Go for it! #ISTE2017 is where the EDU community comes together to learn.  If you skip the opportunity, you have done yourself a disservice.

  5. Hit the Startup Pavillion and PitchFest. Innovation happens here!  This is where you can learn something new - about fire and tenacity and pitching your passion that will serve you well no matter what kind of firm you are representing.  Who knows what else you might discover?

  6. Have Fun!  There are so many fun activities and interesting people at #ISTE17.  Make sure you know where it is happening (check out the bloggers cafe!) and how you can jump right in and participate.  Networking and your business development often happens outside of the conference venue at social events.  Participate, partner, and become part of the EDU community.  You will find it pays dividends in the long run and makes the time you spend in San Antonio so much more entertaining and productive.  

Look for me and my colleague, Michael Campbell.  I'll be looking for you too.


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