MarketingProfs B2B Forum is the place to be for B2B marketers at every level. Ann Handley and the team at MarketingProfs do an amazing job of putting on this show each year. Getting the most out of the show requires some advance preparation. For first-timers (and forgetful repeat attendees), here are a few suggestions to enhance your MPB2B experience.
1. Stay hydrated. While the weather in San Francisco is predicted to be warm and sunny the week of the conference, the Marriot Marquis is still desert-like inside due to air conditioning. You won’t notice you’re dehydrated because you’ll think it’s nice and cool. Drink water copiously. As the US Army expression goes, if you don’t have to use the restroom frequently, you haven’t had enough water. Consider bringing or buying a reusable water bottle on site.
2. Bring COMFORTABLE SHOES. You will be walking a TON. See this picture?
This is the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. This is a tall, tall building and inside is 133,000 square feet of conference space. Walking to and from sessions, hotels, the works – you’ll be putting a lot of strain on your feet.
3. Bring a portable power strip and power banks. Outlets aren’t always nearby and you will burn down your phone battery being social. I’m partial to the Anker 20,000 maH power brick. It weighs as much as a small brick but will keep a tablet and smartphone charged all day. I also carry a Tessan power strip, which I love. It’s a friend-maker – bring it out and make friends.
Be aware that some devices may be restricted if you’re traveling from overseas due to various travel bans, so check in advance.
Also, don’t forget your device cables. Bring 2 of each.
4. Arrive with a BURNING question that you ask everyone you meet. What one question MUST you get answered in order for the conference to be worth it? If you don’t have a burning question, you’ll enjoy the show but you won’t get the most out of it.
5. Plan your sessions in advance. Review the program ahead of the conference so you can set your agenda for the day and make sure you’re on time for the sessions you’re most interested in. MPB2B is also offering full-day workshops. Make sure you sign up before they fill up!
6. Party responsibly. If we speakers are doing our jobs right, your brains should really hurt by the end of the event. You want to get the most out of the event, so pace yourself when it comes to entertainment options. That business-changing insight you’ve got a burning question about may happen on the last day of the event, and you want to be sober enough and awake enough to catch it. MPB2B is hosting a lot of off-the-clock-antics this year. Be sure to check them out!
7. Bring earplugs. I always travel with ballistic earplugs. They’re great for reducing that screaming baby on the airplane to a dull roar, and priceless for major events like MPB2B. Loud convention centers and concerts and parties are awesome… for a short while. Enough loud noise will tire you out. Bring a bottle of earplugs and you will end up much less fatigued. If you plan to attend any of the major parties or go out to eat at the local restaurants, you’ll want earplugs in your kit.
8. Bring business cards. Lots of business cards. MPB2B will host upwards of 1,000 physical attendees this year.
9. Bring space. As in, pack lightly so you have room for all the fun stuff the various exhibitors have to offer. The people at the office or at home love a good souvenir.
10. Bring a day pack/bag. There will be times you won’t want to lug around heavy luggage or a full laptop case. A small messenger bag will fit the bill perfectly. I’m personally a fan of the Osprey Nano, but any small bag or pack will do.
11. Bring healthcare preventative measures. As stated above, MPB2B attracts upwards of 1,000 physical attendees who eat together, stay in the hotels, party together, shake hands, and share the same air, water, and physical proximity. Bring hand sanitizer packs, wash your hands frequently, and consider purchasing an NIOSH-approved N99 face mask, especially if you’re arriving by airplane or other form of mass transit. Consult your physician/qualified medical practitioner about taking a multivitamin and/or other immune-boosting supplements.
12. Participate in pre-show activities. MarketingProfs B2B Forum offers great pre-event activities outlined here, which gives people a chance to meet, ask questions, and discuss favorite topics well in advance of the show. By the time we all arrive in San Francisco, we’ll have our tribe.
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