Event: March 3-7 | Trade Show: March 5-7 | Salt Lake City, UT | Produced and Hosted by the National Association of College Stores

Conference Tips

Conference Tips

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Plan Ahead

  • Once you are registered for CAMEX, you will receive log in information for CAMEX Connect (available in late September). Add sessions to your customized schedule make appointments with exhibitors, and take advantage of the Matchmaking tool! Then, sync your Schedule with the CAMEX Mobile App (available in January).
  • Dress in layers. Temperatures can vary widely in convention centers.
  • Bring at least one change of shoes (a change of socks or stockings for evening events helps, too)
  • Don't forget to pack your business cards!
  • When you arrive, familiarize yourself with the Convention Center: session rooms, food areas, and restrooms.
  • Use the exhibit hall map to plan a strategic approach to seeing the suppliers you want to see.
  • Read up on any industry news and updates to understand what's affecting the people you'll be meeting at CAMEX.
  • Know what your organization's goals and targets are before you arrive. The one-on-one appointments go by fast, so you'll need to be able to summarize your needs quickly.
  • Sign up for pre-conference education where you may get deeper training than in sessions designed to provide basics or highlights.
  • Arrive in plenty of time for scheduled sessions. Take a seat upfront, introduce yourself to those around you and get settled. If the speaker has arrived early, you may have a chance to introduce yourself.
  • Make those meaningful connections by asking questions and sharing your ideas.
  • Move on if a session isn't meeting your expectations. Try another session or take a break and connect with others.
  • Set goals. Every day, try to meet at least one new person, learn one useful thing, and have a substantive discussion about the industry.

Working the Show Floor

  • Use your business cards—ask suppliers to send more information or materials, enter contests, and network professionally.
  • Make notes on the backs of the business cards you collect to remind you to follow up, or to help you remember the item of interest from that vendor.
  • Use this opportunity to develop deeper relationships with key suppliers. If you’re invited to a supplier’s hospitality suite, announcement event or demonstration, try to attend.
  • If you take a supplier’s giveaway, make sure you also have a conversation and learn what’s new.
  • Don’t neglect familiar suppliers. Stop by and find out what’s new and different.

Make Meaningful Connections

  • Share your CAMEX Experience! Use your social media account to share ideas and connect.
  • Don’t sit near co-workers or friends. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
  • Practice your icebreaker knowledge and warm up the table. Introduce yourself and find out where people are from. Here are a few other questions to diffuse any shyness: “Discover anything new at the conference?” “Attend any great sessions?” “What did you think about that speaker?”
  • Read name badges (admit to staring, if they’re hard to read) and see what networking opportunities you might find, especially when you’re standing in line.
  • Take time to get to know people. This is a great time to put faces with names.

Follow Up

  • Fill out the conference online evaluation forms. Your input helps the conference planning team with future events.
  • Write a report to your boss or team, explaining the value of the conference and what you learned.
  • Organize your cards and send emails, thank-you notes, or promised information as soon as possible. Don’t let the important contacts you made slip away.
  • Review your notes and make an action plan to utilize what you learned at the sessions. Share information with other staff members, include notes in a report, or put them on your planning calendar.
  • Wrap up your CAMEX learning experience and make the most of what you picked up during the educational conference.