1. Make a Game Plan
Going to Convergence 2015 is an investment and in order to get the best return on your investment, Encore strongly suggests you plan ahead. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your time at Convergence 2015.
- Ensure you prepare an itinerary. Visit the Convergence 2014 website to review the agenda, research the exhibitors and read about the keynote speakers. Pre-select topics and technologies that would enhance your business operations, as well as your personal abilities.
- Connect the value of the conference to your company’s business goals. Will you be attending to gather ideas for executing against your current strategic plan or to gather ideas to help develop future business strategy?
- If you are attending, ask other employees if there is a subject of particular interest to them that you can research while at the conference. For example, perhaps the sales team is interested in mobile solutions for entering sales orders while visiting customer sites.
- Do some pre-networking on social media. Search on Twitter and Linkedin for people using the hashtag #conv14, or otherwise looking forward to Convergence 2014.
- Be sure you are prepared to participate and actively listen to get the most out of the information being shared. Bring some questions that need to get answered. This is an international event and Microsoft team members from around the globe are there to help solve your challenges.
- Make contacts. Many people at the conference are traveling alone and will have the same level of anxiety as you and your team. Seek out people in your industry to discuss business challenges and successes with. You may just find a great resource who has already done what you are about to do and is willing to share some advice.
- Realize the value of informal conversation – often the most valuable experiences are exchanges made at coffee breaks and meals. Be sure you introduce yourself. Everyone is there to learn and take away nuggets of information that will help their business grow and succeed.
- Ensure you report back what was learned and what contacts have been made. Take lots of notes so you will be able to remember and share the experiences when you get back to the office. There is a lot of information to absorb over a 4 day period, product literature to read and recommendations to be made upon your return.
2. Create An Atlanta Convergence Checklist
- Passport – All travel to the United States requires a valid passport. Convergence 2014 is in Atlanta, so you will need a passport.
- Comfortable Shoes – We recommend comfortable shoes to make getting around more enjoyable. You’ll be walking a lot.
- Photo ID – When you go to sign in at Convergence, you will need to show photo id. If you don’t want to carry your passport, make sure you have another piece of ID with a photo on you.
- A Warm Sweater – The Convention Center always manages to be much colder in the than you’d expect. Come prepared.
- Conference Badge – Once you register, you will get your badge. Microsoft keeps this conference very secure. You will need your Conference Badge to get in to all venues and events. We recommend you keep it on you at all times.
- Business Cards – You’ll need them while you network with other people and many exhibitors offer great prizes which generally require you to drop off a business card to be entered. This is an excellent opportunity to see what Independent Software Vendors have available as enhancements for Microsoft Dynamics.
- Cell Phone Roaming Plan – Phone usage in the US – whether you use voice, text or data – will affect your bill with Roaming charges that seem to add up very quickly. Be sure to check with your cell phone provider to see if you can sign up for a Roaming package prior to leaving for Convergence.
3. After Hours Networking Opportunities
In case you thought there wasn’t enough going on, Convergence also offers a lot of more informal socializing opportunities to network. All you need to do is visit the event’s website to find out how to RSVP. Remember to wear your Convergence badge to get in!
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