FABTECH 2015 is nearly here! This annual conference/expo is an enormous opportunity for manufacturers from nearly every industry that works with metal to gather, network, and learn so that they can improve their own businesses.
With nearly 1,500 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees across 650,000 sq. ft. of floor space, seeing everything and networking with everyone is practically impossible to do in just four days (the event lasts Monday, November 9 through Thursday, November 12).
So, how can you get the most out of this once-a-year manufacturing event?
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Tip #1: Register as Early as Possible
Given that the event starts in just a few days, it might seem a little late to be handing out this piece of advice. However, if you go to the FABTECH 2015 website and register to attend by November 6, you can get free admission to the event.
This saves you some time at the actual event, as you won’t have to prepare a payment method for tickets when you get there.
Tip #2: Get Your Lodgings Reserved ASAP
The FABTECH expo is an enormous event with tens of thousands of people in attendance. As such, lodgings in the area become scarce right around the time of the event.
With thousands of people needing a place to stay, accommodations near McCormick Place, 2301 S. Martin Luther King Dr. in Chicago, IL are sure to be snapped up quickly. Basically, the longer you wait to reserve a room, the further and further away from the site of the expo you’ll be forced to stay, adding time and frustration to the trip.
So, it’s probably to your benefit to try and reserve a room near the event site as soon as possible. This way, you’ll be able to secure a place near the convention center so your commute won’t be as much of a hassle on the days you decide to attend.
Now, the event is next week, so odds are that most of the best hotel rooms have already been reserved by others. However, this simply means that if you plan on attending, then you have no more time to lose.
Tip #3: Bring Along Others
As was mentioned earlier, there are over a thousand exhibitors at this event and hundreds of thousands of square feet to cover. Add in the extra events, such as educational panel discussions and special presentations, and there’s no way a single person can cover everything.
Rather than trying to do everything by yourself, bring along some coworkers or execs from your company to help you cover more ground each day of the event. This way, your business will get more direct exposure to the ideas and innovations of more presenters than it could if you were to go by yourself.
Tip #4: Create an Itinerary
Even with multiple people along, it may be hard to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the expo if you don’t have a plan for efficiently moving from one presentation to the next.
So, before you attend the FABTECH expo, take some time to check out the expo’s schedule of events to see when and where the events you absolutely want to make sure you see are being held. You can plan your trips to the individual presentations around this schedule.
You can set up reminders of these events and their times in your smart phone’s calendar app so that you’ll get an alert when an event is about to start.
This way, you won’t miss any of the content you most want to see.
Tip #5: Take Notes
Human memory is a funny thing, some things you’ll remember for years, even if you don’t want to. At other times, you might have difficulty remembering what you had for dinner last Thursday.
Sometimes, it can seem like the more you want to remember something, the more quickly you forget it. This is why it’s so important to take notes when you’re attending a presentation or manufacturer expo.
Taking notes allows you to look up important information for later, such as the name and phone number of that supplier you met who had the perfect solution for your short-notice parts ordering needs.
Things you might want to jot down include:
- Name, email address, and phone number of company representatives you meet.
- Important ideas and concepts mentioned in a presentation.
- Web addresses of individual companies you want to do more research on.
If you take detailed notes, you will definitely get more out of your visit to the FABTECH 2015 conference than you would if you hadn’t. If you don’t like writing things out by hand or into an electronic device, consider using a digital voice recorder for dictating notes.
Events such as the FABTECH expo help American manufacturing businesses improve their productivity by networking with suppliers and other companies, building knowledge, and familiarizing themselves with the latest innovations. Make the most of your time there, and you won’t regret it.