Five Ways to Embrace Continuous Learning at a Trade Show
The educational benefits of trade shows and conferences can be endless, but they require a little extra effort and planning. Here's how to embrace continuous learning and get the most out of your trade show experience.
Business is busy. Manufacturers have their time and attention span wholly dedicated to keeping up. Priorities shift to keep pace with job orders, leaving little time for anything else. But how are companies exceeding the bare minimum of production, how do they evolve?
The best way to stay competitive is to embrace a culture of education, and you can’t have continuous improvement without continuous learning. This requires a more proactive approach to learning, making time to train employees and discover new ideas, rather than waiting for them to walk through the door.
Technology and education go hand in hand. Both are essential components of the ever-evolving manufacturing industry, but without an understanding of how new technology fits in with your existing operation, it’s hard to decide where to start.
IMTS 2018, the International Manufacturing Technology Show, is dedicated to showcasing new technology alongside the resources required to apply it. Sometimes learning online isn’t enough. This industry gathering is the in-person complement to online resources, providing insights on technology that a Google search simply cannot provide.
Trade shows and exhibitions excel where digital communication lacks: in human interaction and long-lasting business relationships. And they are still one of the top resources for informative content for buyers and sellers alike.
According to a report by Marketech, the No. 1 reason to attend a trade show is to obtain product information. And what is the top way to influence product purchase? Learning something new.
It’s more than simply registering for a trade show and walking the show floor. Exhibitions like IMTS offer a whole spectrum of educational resources that can transform your trade show experience. Exhibitor booths, live demos, conference sessions and networking events offer opportunities to immerse yourself in new technology and ideas.
There’s a lot to see and do. It’s hard to imagine taking advantage of it all.
To nurture this idea of education and sustainable growth, here are a few ways manufacturers can capitalize on their trade show time and efforts.
With over 115,000 visitors, 1.3M square feet of exhibit space and hundreds of conference sessions, it’s impossible to see all of IMTS. Set to kick off September 10, it’s time to register and start thinking ahead.
Organize your trip with MyShow Planner, a free mobile app that houses all the logistics and scheduling you need directly from your mobile device or computer. This trade-show tool maps your entire trip, organizes your itinerary and appointments, and prioritizes what you need to see.
Take the divide-and-conquer approach by designating assignments to your coworkers to cover more ground. Start considering what kinds of technology are a must-see, what trends you’re interested in, and always leave room for discovery and the unexpected.
This is the time to absorb. From representatives in the booths to the speakers at the podium, IMTS is the global hub for industrial experts from every facet of the supply chain.
Choose from more than 150 conference sessions, offering a deep-dive into areas such as manufacturing process, plant operations and emerging technology and trends.
Don’t underestimate the power of meeting the visitors attending the same sessions as you, those who share the same interests and may have many of the same questions. Take full advantage of listening to the subject-matter experts in the IMTS community who are ready to share their own experiences and ideas.
Get technical and talk shop immediately with the best and brightest in the industry. Social events offer a casual setting while in-booth discussions provide a one-on-one opportunity to meet with the companies on your list and those who are not.
There’s no substitute for the valuable connections made at IMTS. Speakers, presenters, exhibitors, and even your fellow attendees all present a chance to expand your network, especially outside of your particular sector or expertise.
Make sure to reach out to clients and potential customers prior to the show to set up appointments, but don’t overlook the more impromptu networking opportunities such as those found in and around the convention center. Over 100,000 people come to Chicago for IMTS, so you might find a great chance to learn from your peers in the dining and entertainment settings surrounding the convention center as well.
See it in action. Live demos on the show floor and presentations in the conferences give you an exclusive look at current and emerging technology and how it’s being used.
At IMTS, visitors have the unique opportunity of getting up close with the technology and the trends they hear about. It’s where you can attend a presentation on Industry 4.0 and then see it up close, in use, with machines right across the hall. Compare machines and technology in real time as you walk from booth to booth, hall to hall.
Manufacturers are constantly looking at ways to cut costs and produce more efficiently. So, attending any kind of industrial event works the same way. Your time at a trade show and what you learn there is only as valuable as how you apply it.
Maximize the value of what you’ve learned at IMTS by documenting your experience so you can bring it back and share with your team. Discover actionable insights and key takeaways that make sense for your operation, ideas that you can start using immediately and apply long after the trade show ends.
Manufacturers do not have time to spare, and yet make time for IMTS. With so many resources under one roof, and without a minute to waste, it’s important to start thinking about how trade shows can impact your productivity with educational resources.
IMTS continues to serve as a lifelong resource for manufacturing education and best-practices. You don’t ask yourself questions like “How can I work more efficiently?” once a year. That’s why IMTS provides resources all year long through channels such as its IMTS Insider, IMTSTV videos, webinars and more.
Lifelong learning requires a proactive approach, giving those who embrace it a competitive edge. But it doesn't have to be a time-consuming, cost-inhibitive battle.
Whether you’re new to the industry or are just looking to sharpen your skills, trade shows embody continuous learning more now than ever. At IMTS, you’ll find the tools necessary to discover, implement and sustain new technology for years to come.
For more information, visit IMTS.com.