Memorial Day….Summer’s here….5 Tips for ILTACON

Author: Cathy Kenton
May 26, 2015

May 25, 2015 – Guest Blogger – Ed Colandra flagpro_american-flag-memorial-day

In the US today, it is a day of memory for our brave heroes lost in military service.

It is also the official start of Summer, 2015.

As someone who lives in the Northeast, recent winters have become for me, in a word – brutal. So you would think that  someone enjoying an 80 degree day in the Garden State with low humidity would be a time of remembrance and celebration, and it is.

That is until a passing glance at the calendar jolted me into realizing that ILTACON, the annual ILTA Conference – this year at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas 8/30-9/3 - is less than 100 days away.

How did this happen? Didn’t I just clean the NYC street salt off my shoes from Legaltech in February?!

So I donned my “Keep Calm and (well, you know the rest)” T-Shirt, and took a deep breath. As part of team LVS, our mission is to ensure a smooth and successful use of our clients time and money at ILTA Conference. And there is a lot to do before, during and after what is arguably the biggest event in legal technology.

Our LVS clients are well-prepped for ILTA, but for the rest,  here are 5 tips while we still have 3 months until ILTA Conference:

ILTACON

 

 

 

1) Build a plan. Seriously friends, at the risk of sounding cranky on an otherwise beautiful day, you just got make a plan. In fact, a lot of plans. Plans for what you are doing at the conference, who is going, are you exhibiting, if so, what are you exhibiting, who is responsible for getting the trade show stuff to Vegas and back, deciding the booth duty schedule, the message, the premiums, the bingo stamps or stickers, etc etc etc. Write it all down, and review it every week until August, and twice a week after.  Bottom line: Know what you expect, and you will measure the results of your actions.

2) Network. I have made great friendships with people I see once or twice a year. I know about their weddings, new kids, relocations, grandkids, promotions, just as if we worked two aisles away in the same building. Not every chat has to lead to a “deal”, but make the most out of everyone you meet. Scanning is great for booths, but exchanging a business card is still the BEST way to really know you and someone else have “clicked” even a little. One person last year took pictures of each person she exchanged a business card with…creative, yes, but I’m just not ready to make that leap…

3) Social media really is important. Don’t believe the naysayers who tell you twitter is a waste of time. It’s the way people learn information about what’s going on during the conference. Read someone’s blog. Write your own blog. Re-tweet interesting stuff. Post a photo, just not of your lunch or hotel room. Embrace the author in you, speak your voice, follow others who in turn follow you, and let the machinery do its job.

4) What happens in Vegas… might come back to haunt you! Parties, I mean vendor hospitality events, are an integral part of ILTA Conference. Use them as part of the networking advice in bullet 2. Have fun, but do realize that a little alcohol can produce an inappropriate joke, that unfortunately, can harm an otherwise great person’s reputation. With or without a bit of vino, letting the ILTA world know you are miserable at Company Z, will likely not get you an interview, and might get you fired. Remember your prom advice ? Have fun, just not too much…

5) Stay your post. Never do email or surf from your phone while you are in your booth. Don’t assume that people only visit with you during breaks and off-times. Some people choose to walk the exhibition floor during sessions when it’s less crowded. If you look bored, wishing you were watching Cirque du Soleil, or playing Words with Friends, instead of paying attention, and giving attention to every person that walks by, you are undermining your own success. Need a break, Take a break. Just don’t take it at the booth.

Hope to see you in Vegas. Semper Fi.

Follow me on Twitter: @edcolandra or LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/edcolandra/

 

 

 

 

 

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