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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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Preparing for #Tech12

Posted by Sarah Hill

MemberClicks is preparing to go to Washington DC this week for ASAE’s Technology Conference and Expo 2012. Just in case you are too, here’s a handy checklist to add to your preparations.


Disclaimer: this is assuming you already made your travel arrangements and hotel accommodations if you need them. If you haven’t done that yet, do that first!


1)   What’s the goal?

Decide what your objective is. What do you hope to accomplish or learn at this show? Are you trying to network? Get new customers? Gain knowledge? Solve a problem that you’re facing with your association? Figure out what the big question is, and if the answer is even there to begin with (we’ll save you trouble of racking your brain on that one. It probably is.) and from there…

2) Map out your route

Now that you know what you’re trying to do, figure out where you want to go. Check out the map on the show’s website and do some research. Are there any vendors who may offer solutions? Where are the people you want to meet? Which brings us to the next item on the to-do list…

3)   Decide who’s hands you want to shake

If networking is on your list of objectives, read through the list of exhibitors and speakers and pin point whom you want to meet. Every connection is potentially a golden one, but there are some who may be valuable right away. And while we’re at it…

4)   Do not forget your business cards

‘Nuff said. Once they’re packed, be sure to…

5)   Plan your days

ASAE planned the Tech Show with a very careful schedule, and you should do the same. When the floor is open, know which exhibits you want to see. When it comes to the Idea Labs, know in advance which ones you want to go to and what time they are so you’re poised to meet the people you want to, and deliver one of those aforementioned business cards, a handshake, and a smile. Also, be sure to reach out digitally by…

6)   Make a tweeting plan

Keep your mobile devices on, although you might want to mute them occasionally, and keep a list of twitter hash tags somewhere. Each Technology lab has its own hash tag, and I bet many (if not all) of the presenters will mention some social media through which you can follow and contact them. It pays to be connected while networking. Social media is a great way to make connections with strangers with whom you may have a connection, but whom you haven’t heard of until you’re both tweeting about a speaker. And in case the unexpected happens with your mobile devices…

7)   Do not forget your analog writing devices.

Batteries die, WiFi inexplicably goes out, E-mail servers go down. A note pad and pen will work through all of that.

Now go pack! Look for us at booth 22, across from the furthest food market from the stage. We’ll have knowledgeable small-staff-smile-specialists waiting to talk to you about your association needs, and I’ll be around glued to my ipad, tweeting and taking notes. Give us a shout @MemberClicks and I’ll be sure to say hi! See you there!

Topics: ASAE

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