1. Approach the speakers
After every panel, the speakers stayed behind for follow-up questions or networking opportunities. Admittedly in the majority of the cases, you’ll end up exchanging cards as a gesture of good will and be on your way with few, if any follow-up emails between yourself and the speaker, but you never know if you can mutually benefit until you make the effort. Surprisingly for the number of attendees that sat in on the panels, only a few would approach the panelists at all after the discussion’s conclusion.
2. Come prepared with questions
In almost every panel that I attended, the moderators asked the first round of questions since it was apparent that no one was willing to break the silence. Usually if you’re the first to ask an important question that you’ve prepared or thought of during the conversation, it’s more likely that the speakers will spend extra time to answer that question compared to the questions that the audience will squeeze in at the last minute.
3. Find the networking events and parties
Attendees sign up for ad:tech intending to expand their network, open up doors to new deals or maybe make new friends. The best ways to relax or network after a day of listening to panelists is by unwinding at the ad:tech parties. There were a slew of sanctioned parties that were opened to the public but there are “VIP” parties around town. I have to admit that I directed some attendees to the latter since they were blunt enough to ask.
4. ad:tech offers lunch for attendees
Admittedly ad:tech doesn’t offer gourmet food, but the prices at the Jacobs Center were expectedly inflated and there were heavy lines. As a word of advice for those of you that sign up to ad:tech to attend the panels, there’s free food. It’s of the sandwich and salad variety, but it beats waiting in line for 30 minutes when the next panel starts in 15 minutes.
5. Download the ad:tech app
The tremendous number of exhibiting companies can make anyone’s head spin, but the ad:tech app organizes everything you need to know from the booth numbers to setting alerts. If you’re looking to save time, find out more about the speakers or figure out what panels are taking place in real time, this is an investment worth the 30 seconds of your time it takes to download the app to your phone.
This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.