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An Updated exhibitor's survival guide for the ophthalmology cro

ARVO 2017 is in the books and the conference was bigger and better than ever before. For a premier CRO in the field of ophthalmology, ARVO is a unique opportunity for networking and meeting new people in the industry. ARVO, unlike most conferences in the field, is a lengthy program, spanning over the course of six days with four of those days having an open exhibition space. 

Based on the experience from the Trial Runners camp, here are some excellent tips for your lengthy tenure on a exhibition floor. 

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Plan Ahead

If the conference is located in a large metro area, the odds are largely against having a big box or hardware store nearby for emergency snacks and tools for your booth. Make absolutely sure you create a contingency list of every task that needs to be completed when you arrive at the conference, and think through what tools and items you need to complete them. Nothing in a booth scenario is worse than being stranded without the proper tools or forgetting a key piece of promo material. 

Stay Active

The desire to take a load off and engage booth visitors from a sitting position will present itself on the tail end of the first day, but do not fall into that trap. Take your breaks, of course, but do so away from the booth on your own time and make sure presence is covered. Attention will be better brought to a booth setup that has ready, willing and engaged people representing the company. There are a few tips we can share to promote this kind of atmosphere for your booth. 

  • Invest in flowers or plants for your booth. People will compliment pretty plants and have a piece of conversation ready for the booth. 
  • Rent high furniture (bars and comfortable stools) and use lower tables for storage and promo items/brochures
  • Engage visitors on the same level that they approach the booth. If they take a seat, please join them. If they prefer to stand, meet their level. 

Keep Yourself Fed and Hydrated

ARVO takes place over four days, and that adds up if you are in a booth every day. For those that are not as used to working on their feet for a full day of work, fatigue may rear its ugly head. One way to combat the aches and pains that come with booth life, is to closely monitor caloric intake and hydration. Bringing along healthy snacks and water every day will save discomfort down the line, especially in the late afternoon when sessions are wrapping up and attendants pile in the exhibitor hall. Your booth team must be ready at all times to assist visitors and provide information to potential clients. 

Take Advantage of Down Time

There will be an amount of down time associated with your visit, and that should be used for resting or followup to the individuals who are in your home office. However, there will also be time for you to recharge your batteries and put that head on a pillow for the night. This will do a number of things, namely reinforcing all you have learned that day, and doing your body a massive favor that will reward your decision the next day with renewed vigor and energy. 

Make Friends

The staff and operators of the logistic and expo companies representing the conference you are attending will be a very valuable resource. People from all walks of life will be at the exhibition hall early to make sure everything associated with the event performs smoothly. These are the individuals of whom will be your last line of communication if anything were to go wrong with your experience at the exhibition hall, so be friendly and courteous. More often than not, these employees will be there several hours before you arrive for the day. 

Follow Up

Getting back home is always a relief, but after a long conference, there is much more to be done. In the coming weeks, relationships are formed by following up with the contact info received during the conference. From this perspective, your inbound sales cycle begins with this first point of contact, so it's imperative to start on the right foot with this contact. 

As a company in the field of ophthalmology, it is imperative to hone your booth presence and strategies for effective engagement and communication of your brand's ideals. Maintaining a strong exhibition strategy and having a plan is also important for your marketing team.