June is approaching fast, and that means you’ll soon be heading to Las Vegas to attend a brand new HxGN LIVE conference. Like always, there’ll be cutting-edge technology on display, with speakers to hear, demos to experience and an ever-expanding list of friends and colleagues to catch up with.
It may be impossible to take advantage of every opportunity HxGN LIVE presents, but I’ve put together this “survival guide” to help the truly motivated gain as much as possible from the experience.
Step outside your sphere of influence
Don’t just attend HxGN LIVE for the latest and greatest concerning your own field of expertise. We’re on the forefront of some of the world’s most advanced technologies. The true magic of the conference lies in the awe of understanding that big picture – so there’s no reason not to strike up conversation with someone in a field unrelated to yours.
In other words, if you’re in agriculture and sugarcane is your game, don’t spend the whole conference hanging out with the other folks in sugarcane. Spread your wings and feed your curiosity. You never know who you could meet or what they might put on your table, which brings me to the next point.
Network smarter, not harder
Making acquaintances, swapping contact information and hopefully doing business together is definitely the name of the game when it comes to networking, and our primetime networking events certainly sweeten the pot via delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Often, however, what should be an organic and mutually beneficial exercise is reduced to an automatic exchange. An HxGN LIVE attendee might leave with dozens of business cards and no idea which was the result of what conversation with whom.
Our suggestion? Selfies. Rather than cataloging business cards or committing each name and company to memory, just take a picture with your potential bestie (I also suggest getting their card in the photo). Not only will this strengthen your records, but it’ll also build a little bonus comradery on the spot. People store and recall information more easily if it’s represented visually. Plus, those photos can also add a little more style to your post-conference presentations for your team.
Leave a mark
We’ve always been big on interactivity and hands-on demonstrations for HxGN LIVE, but we’ve taken that a little farther this year. We’re now giving attendees an even bigger way to leave their mark on the conference with our roving media teams. Keep an eye out for our camera crews looking to interview you or just shoot the breeze for HxGN TV. We’re also recording a podcast onsite and seeking guest bloggers to write about their experiences for our website. These opportunities to contribute are golden because I can’t think of a better way to make a splash and maximize your experience than by becoming a part of everyone else’s.
You’d be surprised at the sheer volume of positive things that come to those who are positive themselves. With that in mind, the most crucial tip we have is a simple one: have fun. Smile, spread that smile to others and be amazed at how many exciting new people and opportunities are drawn into your orbit.
There are also plenty of things to do in Vegas between HxGN LIVE sessions. You can play vintage video games at the Pinball Hall of Fame or, if nature is more your thing, try visiting the Springs Preserve Botanical Garden or hiking through Red Rock Canyon. Take some time to get off the main strip and take in all the city has to offer during your down time.
A conference that unites creative thinkers, showcases the future today and motivates you to take action – now that’s shaping smart change.
Aaron Sutton, conference manager for Hexagon Corporate Communications & Marketing, manages Hexagon’s HxGN LIVE programme. He holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has been with Hexagon Corporate Marketing since 2010. Prior to joining Hexagon, Sutton was part of Intergraph’s Corporate Marketing team helping organise their annual user’s conference.