Unlocking the Benefits of In-Person Conferences

In-person conferences are back and better than ever. The last 3 years have shown that while a large portion of everyday work can be conducted online, face-to-face interactions are priceless. 

CityBase asked different stakeholders what makes in-person conferences so valuable. Here are 3 major benefits to attending conferences in person. 

1. Discovering the Marketplace  

An exhibit hall is a great place for all conference attendees to explore a variety of products and services that are new to them. Exhibitors can conduct live demos and answer all of the burning questions of any visitor to their booth, reducing a lengthy research and vetting process consisting of long emails and numerous discovery sessions. Further, it allows exhibitors to get a better understanding of what customers really need via real-time feedback. 

“Conferences facilitate hundreds of in-person interactions directly and provide one of the best opportunities for Product Managers to collect valuable insight and understand the customer’s needs. We share the information we collect with our designers and engineers who can then use it to produce or enhance our products and services,” says Senior Product Manager, Greg Weppler. 

Here are 3 tips to enhance your exhibit hall experience :

  • Review the exhibitor and sponsor list ahead of time, identify the top 5-10 companies that interest you, and make it a priority to visit their booths 
  • Schedule your day carefully and allocate ample time to explore the exhibit hall
  • Take advantage of live demos and schedule any ahead of time that may require a designated time slot

2. Putting a Face to the Name

Living in a digital world often leads to professional relationships that solely exist online. And while productive conversations can begin via email and video conferencing, being able to meet people in person is essential to developing a deeper business relationship. Whether by connecting with a client or peer over dinner, or meeting with a vendor in the exhibit hall, face-to-face interaction allows you to build rapport and trust with your clients and peers. 

“Nothing beats face to face interaction. It’s great to establish preliminary contact with people online or over the phone but connecting with people in person is an irreplaceable experience.  Conferences afford everyone the time and space to engage in more dynamic and meaningful interactions. No one is rushing off to a meeting which allows everyone additional time to get to know each other better, ask follow-up questions, get more immediate answers, and build trust in one another. Conferences also allow you to meet peers at partner companies which helps strengthen partnerships,” says Account Executive, Nick Cosentino. 

Here are 3 tips to making the most of in-person meetings:

  • Identify specific exhibitors of interest and reach out to see if they are hosting any events outside of exhibition time
  • Schedule meetings in advance as people’s calendars tend to fill up quickly at conferences 
  • Contact conference organizers in advance to reserve meeting rooms

3. Growing Strategic Industry Partners

Establishing partnerships can really help companies grow and prosper, and this is often achieved by packaging different technologies together to yield a more powerful and beneficial solution for end users. Conferences can be fertile ground to identify potential new partners, announce new partnerships, and to build on existing ones.

“Conferences give us the opportunity to engage with our partners and to strengthen our partner relationships through introductions between colleagues and clients. It is always exciting to be in an environment where we can collaborate and strategize, all while getting to know one another better,” says Senior Partner Manager at Paymentus, Houston Andreades. 

Here are 3 tips for maximizing partner opportunities at conferences: 

  • Check to see if the vendors you already use have any partners that are attending the conference
  • Engage with exhibitors who promote their partnerships to learn more about how their organizations work together 
  • Ask your partners ahead of time what conferences they are planning to attend this year 

Maximizing Your Conference Experience

Conferences provide an irreplaceable opportunity to learn about new topics, meet new people, and engage in interesting conversations. Attendees should take full advantage of their next conference by exploring the exhibit hall, attending workshops and speaker sessions, and making time to connect with people. 

See you at CS Week 2023!

The CityBase team is excited to attend CS Week on May 2-4! Be sure to stop by Booth #525 to meet the team, learn more about integrated web, kiosk, and POS payments, and experience live demos. 

There will also be a presentation with Mike Hill, Senior Customer Service Manager at Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) on May 4th at 2:30 PM ET in Room E220A. He will discuss why TPU selected CityBase kiosks to help their customers pay city and utility bills in person, and how they identified the best community locations for their kiosks. We hope to see you there!

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