Connect Marketplace 2016: Advice for Newbies

Connect Marketplace events advice
Will you be a newbie at Connect Marketplace 2016 in Grapevine, Texas, next week? Have no fear: These tips from the event's veterans will help you make the most of your time there. *   *   *   *   * “Don’t judge a city without learning more about it first. You never know what potential exists until you talk through the details and possibilities.”  —Beth Hecquet, CMP, CMM, Scripps National Spelling Bee “I made excellent connections with vendors at the lunch table that I didn’t have appointments with. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation before the speakers start. It turns out we are going to do business with my lunch connection!”  —Barbara Price, Association of Mailing, Shipping, and Office Automation SpecialistsBe sure to attend at least one of the contract seminars. The industry is always changing, and the information from the seminars can help make sure your contracts are up-to-date.”  —Sherry Eschenberg, PCA Administrative Committee  “Come prepared. Suppliers appreciate it when you have an info sheet listing all the basic specs for your events.”  —Page Adams, Gamma Phi Beta International SororityLeave room in your bag for swag—you’ll get lots of good stuff. If I get duplicates or things I won’t use, I use them as prizes [back at the office]. Also, never miss the receptions Connect throws! They are great parties.”  —Gloria Kermeen, Partnership for Philanthropic Planning “Being prepared is the key since you only have six minutes [during Marketplace appointments]. Have a one-page summary, RFP copies and business cards to give each supplier as soon as they sit down. This saves valuable time. Then let the supplier talk about their property.”  —John Hames, American Wine SocietyDon’t skip the keynotes and the evening parties. That is where you get to make some awesome friends. I still remain in close contact with most of the crew I met last year and ask them for advice.”  —Mia Monroe, CSEP, CGMP, CMP, NASA Johnson Space Center, All Points Logistics LLC “It’s a little item but makes a world of difference: Bring a sweater, jacket or cover-up. Convention centers are always freezing, and sitting at your appointments shivering is not pleasant for anyone. Wear a watch. Don’t keep suppliers waiting. They pay a lot of money for the opportunity to speak with you.”  —Sandra Costantino, International Nanny Association Make time for all the meals and take advantage of the speakers. I came late for breakfast one day and was very sorry I missed the speaker.”  —Kathi Bretcko, Independent Laboratory Distributors Association