Fresh Summit is fast approaching. In the hustle to arrange booth plans, client meetings and travel, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re really hoping to accomplish. Fresh Summit, and events like it, are about more than closing a deal.
As I’ve transitioned from a marketing role with the National Mango Board to my career as a professional leadership coach, I’ve gained a unique perspective into the opportunities produce industry professionals have at an event like this.
I put together my top five tips for advance planning to realize your potential at Fresh Summit:
1. Build a vision of success
Take the time to create a clear vision of what success will look like. Which people do you need to connect with? What information do you need to gather? What opportunities do you need to pursue?
Ask yourself and your team these and other powerful questions:
> What are the most exciting and fruitful possible outcomes?
> What nagging problems might I find solutions to?
> What long-term personal or company goals might be advanced?
> How might I be able to serve the industry or support an industry friend?
2. Identify your connections
Build your list of who and what you need to connect with at Fresh Summit to make the vision a reality. Of course, you need to get that invaluable face time with your customers and suppliers. Push yourself beyond the easy answers to maximize your opportunities with individuals like industry veterans, potential mentors or mentees, rivals, trade media, vendors and technology providers.
3. View Fresh Summit through multiple lenses
Beyond your personal and corporate perspectives, do you hold additional roles in the industry, perhaps as a volunteer or mentor? How can you be a conduit of intel for team members that don’t attend Fresh Summit?
4. Make your plan concrete
Now that you have a vision of success and a clear idea of who and what you want to seek out during the event, it’s time to move into action. Create an account on the Fresh Summit Floor Plan web page and download the Fresh Summit 2018 app to your phone. Use these tools to plan the booths and events that matter most to you.
5. Reach out, even if you don’t need to set up a specific meeting time.
Your advance outreach increases the likelihood that people will stop and talk, rather than passing with a wave. Even if they don’t attend Fresh Summit, or if you simply don’t run into them, your outreach will make an impact and strengthen your connection. New possibilities may open up for both of you as a result.
Wendy McManus is the former retail program manager for the National Mango Board and is now a leadership coach at Connect 2 Potential.