IN THE NEWS
Make Your Convention Time Count
by Linnea Johansson, MNM, CAE
So you plan to attend the National Sash & Door Jobbers (NSDJA) Annual Convention this month in San Antonio? How do you maneuver effectively and efficiently through 2,500 people and 183 exhibits in 172,000 square feet of exhibit hall space? Here are several pre-convention pointers:
• Surely you want to renew old friendships and acquaintances, but promise yourself that at least half the time you’ll join people for breakfast or lunch that you don’t already know. Ask questions and find out who they are. Ask them what they’ve learned so far or what interesting new products they’ve discovered.
• Before you leave for San Antonio, check around with others in your company who won’t be attending the convention. Show them the list of exhibitors and see if there are any manufacturers, in particular, that they want you to visit or products they want you to look for.
• Collect business cards and be conscientious in taking a moment to write a few notes on the back of the card. What product did this manufacturer have that you want to explore further, or what question did this jobber ask that you could reinforce when you follow up by phone?
• Be sure your name badge is printed correctly. If there is an error or a misspelling, stop by the NSDJA registration desk in the hotel and have your badge reprinted.
• Wear your name-badge ribbons. They can serve as a conversation starter and may cause other attendees to seek you out.
• Bring plenty of business cards and be sure the information is current. Is your cell phone number on your card? Is your correct e-mail address on your card? If not, get new cards printed before you leave for San Antonio!
• Pick up a roster at the NSDJA registration desk in the hotel. Scan for the names of people with whom you’d like to make a connection. Don’t just hope you’ll run into them; post a notice at the NSDJA message center and leave your cell phone number for them to call.
• Pick up a program at the NSDJA registration desk in the hotel. Review the educational sessions being offered and mark the ones you plan to attend.
• You’ll find your exhibit hall drawing tickets in your badge envelope. Drop these daily at the NSDJA booth in the exhibit hall for a chance at winning valuable door prizes.
• Wear comfortable shoes!
The NSDJA annual convention is a great opportunity to network and meet new people, get up-to-date on the latest trends of our industry and have some fun. Make good use of your time!
Linnea Johansson is the executive director of the NSDJA, located in New Port Richey, Fla.
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