It's Tradeshow Season, Wise Words from Joe Way

In his own special way, the world famous Joe Way shares some wise words on must attend events and how to maximize your events this year.
It's Tradeshow Season, Wise Words from Joe Way

Trade Show Season: How to Get the Most Value for You and Your Employer
Business of AV
Joe Way, PhD, CTS

For higher ed tech managers, the spring semester is the hotbed for the most important trade shows in our vertical, with ISE in January, HETMA in February, NW/MET and MCUAV in March, NAB in April, and InfoComm topping it all off in June. Not to mention, HETMA Roadshows, CES, NAMM, Enterprise Connect, CAVLO, SAVe, and miscellaneous others are all thrown in the mix. This is an important time on the higher ed calendar because we have all submitted our budgets and starting to focus on upcoming summer install projects. This makes being informed the most valuable asset we can have. 

It's likely that departmental budgets will only allow us to travel to one or two of the various trade shows, so how do we get the most value out of the experience? I actually get this question asked of me all the time. So, I'm going to give you two answers: (1) what I do as an industry veteran; and (2) what I suggest most people should do. Yes, there will be contradictions, but I will explain why in each section. I will break it down in to a few main topics: (1) HETMA Virtual Conference; (2) selecting which shows to attend; (3) pre-planning; (4) navigating the show floor; (5) professional development and educational sessions; (6) networking and after hours; and (7) travel tips.

For the higher ed vertical, there are two non-negotiables for "travel-to" conferences: InfoComm and ISE. These are the first two shows I pencil in my calendar every year and the first two anyone in the AV industry should. It does not matter that one is in North America and the other is in Europe. They are both must-attends. Let me reiterate... if you are given the opportunity to travel conferences, these two must come first. 

Thank you @Joe Way for the always wise and without apology candor!

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