JD Systems’ INFOCOMM 2012 Survival Guide
published onJune 11, 2012

We just shared our INFOCOMM 2012 wish list… what we plan to accomplish at the show, in a perfect world. But it’s Vegas. Vegas might be Disneyworld for adults, the ultimate playground and box seats to the Subway Series all in one… but it’s not perfect. Nothing is.

By using these trade show veteran secrets to help your days (and nights) at INFOCOMM 2012 go more smoothly, you’ll be more productive and leave feeling as if you really squeezed every last bit of goodness out of the experience.

As for those Blackjack tables? Sorry, we can’t help you there.

1. Set priorities. We’re aiming to make new connections, network with key vendors, check out the new technology and take advantage of educational sessions. That’s a pretty big wish list. But if we do a little of each, we’ll know we’ve accomplished our objectives. How do we intend to do that? Tip Number 2.

2. Plan ahead Writing a schedule of must-attend seminars, must-see manufacturers or colleagues, and must-do activities, whether it’s a press conference or an INFOCOMM tweet-up, will help you prioritize so you see and do more of what you need to see and do. Make sure to include travel time between show events; the convention center can be tricky to navigate, and you don’t want to be late for a seminar because you got lost.

3. Schedule meetings in advance when possible. Don’t leave too much up to chance. There’s nothing worse (or a bigger waste of precious show time) than visiting a booth multiple times to try to connect with someone you want to see. Use email, text, even Twitter or LinkedIn, to schedule as many appointments in advance as you can to give structure to your day.

4. Be open to surprises. Last minute invite to the press event of the show? Meeting with the CEO of a company you’ve been trying to connect with for months? Make sure your schedule has enough flexibility to accommodate those happy surprises.

5. Take advantage of educational sessions. The audiovisual industry is ever-changing. One of INFOCOMM’s key attractions is the educational sessions, seminars and certification opportunities the organization offers. This year’s event will have more than 300 opportunities to learn new ways to run your business and serve your customers with the bleeding edge of technology.

5. Map out the show floorWith more than 925 exhibitors, INFOCOMM 2012 is going to be HUGE. Set priorities when it comes to visiting the booths to check out the new technology, and map it out so you’re not re-tracing your steps. (As much as possible… of course, as you make appointments to meet with people you might have to re-visit certain areas.)

6. Divide and conquerIf you have more than one person from your company attending, make a clear plan regarding who does what. Set aside time during lunch, dinner, or a mid-day break, to compare notes and assign any follow-ups that might be necessary.

7. Make sure someone is “holding down the fort,” back home.Road trips are great, especially industry trade shows like INFOCOMM. But especially if you’re a small-to-mid-size firm, make sure someone you trust is at home to take care of your clients’ emergencies, follow up on new leads, and manage the day-to-day. We have our right and left hand guys in the office (and available to travel to job sites, if necessary) to make sure we take care of our customers’ needs. We’ll be in contact through cell phone and email throughout the show, while our social media staff will be monitoring our Twitter and Facebook.

8. Don’t forget to check out the JD Systems blog for our INFOCOMM video coverage after the event. – There’s sure to be something you missed at the show. Use the Web to fill in the gaps for you, including our video blog coverage that we’ll be collecting during the show, editing on the flight home, and posting the week right after the show. (And, check out some of our INFOCOMM videos from last year for a taste of what’s to come.)