Below are a bunch of tips, all from INTIX conference veterans, meant to help you to meet more people, be more efficient and get the most out of your first conference experience.
1. Before you get to Baltimore, use the schedule on INTIX.org or the mobile guide to plan your itinerary, or print descriptions of all of the sessions you might wish to attend. Then, develop a day-by-day agenda—including alternatives, just in case.
2. Have at least two sessions in mind for every time slot. That way, if you go to one session and the room is overflowing or the topic isn’t what you thought it would be, you can spend your time productively by heading to your second choice.
3. Attend a few sessions outside of your area or specialty.
4. Always wear your badge. You’ll meet more people and you’ll have a place to stash all of the stuff below!
5. Bring your business cards, and put a stack in your conference badge holder. You’re all set to network!
6. Carry your book of meal tickets with you. You’ll need them and you don’t want to have to go back to your room before every meal.
7. Carry a few dollars with you. You never know when you’ll need a jolt from a candy machine!
8. At sessions, sit in the front so a speaker notices you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions and be noticed. Network!
9. Baltimore is cold in January, so be sure to bring a sweater with you all day. Conference room climates are unpredictable!
10. When you attend a session, don’t sit with friends. Sit down and meet someone new on either side of you—you never know where this will lead.
11. Attend the First Timers Session, where you’ll meet long time members, other First Timers (red dots) as well as board members, committee chairs and others!
12. Use lunch and dinner periods to meet people with whom you might like to work or connect with in the future.
13. Don’t simply breeze through the exhibit hall—spend time looking for opportunities to learn about new products and make new connections.
14. If you want to take home a lot of promotional handouts, mail or ship them back to yourself using the hotel concierge.
15. Exhibitors give away a lot of great prizes but sometimes you need to be present to win! Make sure you spend enough time. There are great things to learn at every booth as well as great things to be won!
16. Check out the auction! There are amazing vacation packages, unique collectibles and other fun things, all benefiting INTIX!
17. Follow the INTIX Facebook and Twitter feed and the mobile site for conference updates news.