Feature image © NAB
It’s nearing the middle of April, so you know what that means? No, I’m not talking tax day. I’m talking the yearly mecca for filmmakers and broadcasters, NAB in Las Vegas, NV. Expos like NAB can be extremely overwhelming, particularly if it’s your first time. So here are five tips you should highly consider before attending the show, whether it’s your first time for 21st time.
This may seem obvious, but let’s be honest. How many of you wait until you’ve picked up your program at the registration booth and spend the first 2-3 hours of your time at a show like this, sitting in the lobby or your hotel room, figuring out where you want to go. Get disciplined and do all your schedule planning before you even step on a plane. Schedule everything from the booths you want to visit (and when you want to visit them), to the seminars you plan to attend, and even the parties you plan to attend. And don’t just schedule them, schedule them smarter. NAB is huge, with over 100,000 attendees and nearly 1,100 exhibitors. Plan your physical “attack.” Where you will start at the beginning of the day, and how will you make your way through the exhibit halls until the end of the day?
Bring A Budget
This is another tip that will require discipline. Set a pre-determined budget of how much you plan to invest in new equipment or software while at the show. Don’t go all crazy with the plastic while you’re there. NAB is meant to help your business, not put you out of it. 🙂
No doubt you will learn loads and loads while there that will inspire you in your craft and your business. But realistically, there will only be so much you’ll be able to do when you get back home. Make a point to identify two things you will absolutely commit to changing in your business and/or craft. I recommend one business related item and one craft related item. Don’t try to do it all.
Do a Daily Download
NAB is a popular time for companies to announce new products or services that aren’t out yet. Keep a running log or database of the ones you plan to follow-up with. Don’t just make a stack of flyers and brochures. Actually put together a formal strategy for which products/services you plan to follow-up with, and why it will be good for your craft or business. At the end of each day, take 15 to 30 minutes to gather your notes from the day, and use a project management program like Asana or Evernote to catalog what you saw and want to follow-up on. Set reminders in them to alert you 1, 2 or 3 months out (based on the schedule release).
Take this opportunity to meet and network with fellow colleagues. This may be your one chance to meet those people you’ve only had the opportunity to hear and or interact with online. Meet-ups are perhaps the best way to do that. Many vendors you follow will have formal meet-ups scheduled. Find out when they are, find out who of your online pals are going to the show, then plan to, well, meet up. 🙂
What other tips and habits have you found useful in attending NAB?