If you are going to be at EMDRIA this week or at the upcoming Annual Play Therapy Conference in October, stop by and say "hi"! We have a booth at both conferences and we would LOVE to meet you in person.
Conferences are a big part of a therapists' life. It's how many of us crank out some CEUs, get out of the office and hopefully have some fun! Check out Miranda's latest Psych Central Post on picking a conference. But when it comes to exhibiting, how do you know if it is worth it to you?
Check out the conference stats. They should have information on previous years regarding the attendees and their demographics. Do you see your potential client or a potential referral resource in the demographics? Now here is another reason for understanding your target market because it will help you decide if the conference is going to reach who you want to walk through the door.
Take note of the length of the conference. The longer the conference, the higher the attendee list should be.
Ask if the conference gives you the emails of the attendees. Often conferences ask their attendees for permission to give their emails to the exhibitors. It's a great way to email out an encouragement to stop by and a follow up thank you after the conference.
Assess value. When looking at your marketing budget, understand bottom line what needs to happen for it to be worth it. If you pay $400 for the booth but lose a day of seeing clients and that costs you $1000. The booth really costs you $1400. BUT if out of the conference you know you are going to make x referrals or reach more clients than if you can with your other marketing, that $1400 will be worth it.
Look at the schedule. Are there plenty of breaks? How are attendees encouraged to go into the exhibit hall? The more time you get with the crowd the better.
Do you get CEUs? Sometimes conferences allow exhibitors to attend events as well. You get to market your practice and get CEUs while you are at it!
If you attend a conference, know your goals and purpose. It will make it a lot easier and more fun when you are attending a conference and building relationships. Have you attended a conference as an exhibitor? Share your story and how you decided to choose the conference!