How Business Partners can get the most from Think 2020
By Andrea Bush | 3 minute read | January 9, 2020
Four days just doesn’t seem like enough time.
We’re quickly approaching IBM Think 2020, which will take place May 4-7 in San Francisco, California. And every year our attendees gain a lot from attending learning labs, tech demonstrations and networking sessions that we host. But with so much going on in a such a short timeframe, it’s easy to miss out on an amazing opportunity.
That’s why we’ve put together these tips to help you, our Business Partners, get the most out of your time at this global conference. With a little bit of work, you can change an already productive conference into something extraordinary.
The early bird gets low rates
The sooner you register for IBM Think 2020, the lower your rate. Super Saver rates last until February 14. Early bird rates run from February 15 to April 5. After that, regular rates apply. You also may be eligible for PartnerWorld discount vouchers, depending on your achieved competencies and program level (e.g., Silver, Gold or Platinum). Vouchers will be sent out in January. (Please note that discounts cannot be combined.)
Make a new plan, Stan
Several speakers have been announced with more to come. Check back often and create a “wish list” of who you’d like to meet at the conference. Keep an eye on our Think 2020 schedule and plan to attend sessions given by speakers on your wish list or visit vendors from companies you’d like to connect with. A conference is a great time to build your network and reconnect with people you rarely see. For both new and renewed relationships, come prepared with good questions or other conversation starters.
Divide and conquer
If multiple people are coming from your organization, meet before the conference to discuss what you’re most interested in. Cross-check schedules with your colleagues to be sure you’re not all attending the same events and sessions. Ideally, you should pair this process with the networking wish list you created above to help ensure everyone is getting the maximum benefit and widest exposure from the event.
Think like a scout and be prepared
Carry phone chargers, USB cables, portable power packs — not only for yourself, but so you can be helpful to other attendees who didn’t think ahead. You don’t have to carry a tech store in your backpack to make this tip work, but being prepared can help you connect with people during downtime between networking or learning events. It’s also helpful to bring a refillable water bottle, a healthy snack, extra pens, mints and even hand sanitizer.
Do your homework
Scan the bios of event speakers. Follow their social media accounts. Watch videos of other presentations they’ve given. Read their articles. If they’re speaking on a topic you’re interested in, this advance work can help you comprehend more of what they’re saying during their lecture. It can also better prepare you with conversation starters if you get the chance to speak one-on-one.
Obviously, use event tags #Think2020 and #PWThink, but also do less obvious things. Use your out-of-office reply to let people know where you are. Invite them to follow you so that they can see what you’re learning at the conference. Email colleagues, associates and customers in advance with the same invitation. Tell them you’ll be active on social media during the conference and also let them know the event’s hashtag. And before the conference even begins, follow us on Twitter and retweet any announcements or promotions that will get your colleagues and customers excited.
Share and share alike
Once you’re back in the office, present what you learned to your coworkers and customers. This display of knowledge can help give your business exposure as a go-to resource. It also helps you strengthen connections between colleagues and clients, particularly if you share information that applies to a specific concern or challenge you know they are facing.
So what are you waiting for?
Get registered and start planning for an amazing week. And while you’re waiting for May to roll around, subscribe to receive IBM Think conference updates. Or join the conversation on Twitter and search for the hashtags #Think2020 and #PWThink.