The Electronic Retailing Association

For First Time Attendees at the ERA Conference: 10 Tips for a Successful Conference

Tip #1 Register early to get on the List of Attendees as early as possible. It is important that other attendees know that you are attending so that they can make contact with you or ask to arrange a meeting.

Tip #2 There is a special One-Day ticket for First Time attendees for only 300€ - if you are not sure if the ERA conference is useful for you, this allows you to get the flavour of the conference without investing in the full ticket price - for 300€ you can't go wrong! You can choose any day, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday!

Tip #3 If you plan to attend the whole conference, it is really worth investing the money in a business club table and chairs. You will need somewhere to sit, somewhere to hold your meetings somewhere to invite people to come to see your, somewhere to do your follow up mails. Not only does it feel more professional, but a business club space also gives you somewhere to use as a base throughout the conference. But don't wait too long to reserve your table as there are a limited number and sometimes sell out early.

Tip #4 If you have a product to present at the conference, it is highly recommended that you take an exhibition stand rather than a business club table. You need somewhere to display your product and attendees do not walk through the business lounge - they go there only for pre-arranged meetings. It may seem expensive to exhibit but it includes your attendance fee and it guarantees everyone sees your product. You can also run a video on your stand which really helps.

Tip #5 Do make appointments with people you want to meet BEFORE you come to the conference, especially if you are selling/offering a service. You need to prepare your schedule in 30 - 60 minute slots and contact people to get meetings with them and to get a fixed slot in their schedules. Do this even if you are an Exhibitor to ensure that your stand is always busy and that people make time to visit your stand. Busy stands attract attention!

Tip #6 If you are a buyer, people will contact you for an appointment as soon as they see your name on the attendee list. Be selective as you may find that there are more companies trying to see you than slots in your schedule. You may want to hold a couple of slots free for spontaneous meetings.

Tip #7 Use the lunch and coffee breaks to network. Do go up to people and introduce yourself, exchange business cards.

Tip #8 Speak English to everyone - this is the ERA language and everyone there can speak it. ERA is informal and uses first names - this is your chance to get to know people on a first name basis! (massive advantage!)

Tip #9 Check the Agenda of the MCMS educational congress which is an all day 'congress within the conference' taking place on Wednesday 21st June 2017. Your ticket also covers entry to the MCMS and you can go in and out without a problem if you only want to attend one session. It normally runs more or less on time. The panel discussions are always interesting and there are always interesting speakers.

Tip #10 Be sure to attend the Emma Awards on Wednesday evening. Its the heart of the social action and the perfect place to meet people, be photographed, consolidate connections. Don't miss this! Remember to pack something elegant to wear - its a glamourous event!

And finally: Have a great time! The ERA conference is one of the highlights of the year!