It’s that time of the year again: events season. Soon, you’ll be receiving emails, texts, phone calls, and maybe even the odd Facebook message all inviting you to the latest and greatest MSP-focused events.
Speaking as someone who really values these events, here’s some of my top tips for getting the most out of them.
You will hear a lot of information at these events. To keep track of anything that’s especially useful to your organization, write it down. Some people use apps like OneNote, some use fancy paper notebooks and some (I’m not mentioning any names), will just take notes on the back of an envelope. How you do it doesn’t matter, just take the notes down. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later!
Go “Old School” to Win Big
Make sure to bring your printed business cards. I know, I know – It’s 2022. Do we really need to carry business cards? Probably not, but they’re still a really handy way to share contact information with new connections, and even more useful for entering prize drawings!
Establish Vendor Relationships
Trust me on this one: vendors want to speak to you. They’re generally pretty nice people just doing a job, as you are, and they usually have candy and prizes at their booths to give away. Get engaged and enter the drawings! I speak from experience that the vendors don’t want to take the prizes and swag home, so put your old school business card in the drawing and keep your fingers crossed.
Also – and this is a personal plea – If you speak to vendors at the event, please take their calls when they follow up. They are sometimes evaluated on how many follow-up conversations they have, so take the call and chat. Think of it as payment for the t-shirt, frisbee, coffee mug, socks, phone charging cable, etc.
Find the Big Shots
At events, you’ll often find C-suites executives wandering the halls. If you do, go and speak to them. Tell them how you feel about their product or service. Chances are, you might tell them something they haven’t heard before. This is a great opportunity to get your point across and make high profile connections.
Get Networking with Other MSPs
It can be hard to start conversations with total strangers, but it doesn’t need to be. You’re all there for the same reason, so strike up a conversation. You’ll be amazed at how many shared interests and experiences you have with other MSPs. Building your professional network is the main benefit of these events. You will learn so much, and may even make new connections that become friends, which will ultimately help your MSP grow.
MSP events are usually held in large hotel conference rooms with the air conditioning turned up to 11. Expect it to be freezing inside even when it’s really warm outside, and always have an extra layer ready to pop on. Also on the subject of comfort, wear good shoes! There is usually a lot of walking from the main stage to the keynote via the vendor hall, so pop on a comfortable pair of sneakers. Your feet will thank me for it.
Finally, the main tip – have fun. After a long day, head to the bar to reconnect with the vendors and your new friends. Talk about MSP things, sports, the weather, anything…just enjoy yourself. Working in a successful MSP is hard enough most days, so sometimes it’s good to order the beverage of your choice and relax.
That’s it for my tips. I’d love to hear from you if you have any more. I can’t wait to get back onto the road and to meet as many MSPs as possible, so if you see me out and about, please say hi, and I’ll exchange business cards with you.
JumpCloud’s on the road! Come and see us at an event near you, by checking out our events page here.