First Time Attendee Tips and Resources

2022 JETC Expo

Welcome JETC First-Time Attendees!

Attending a big conference like JETC can be overwhelming your first time around.  So, we've pulled together some advice, tips, and resources to help you make the most of your time and feel at home.  Advanced planning is essential, so the SAME Small Business Community's Steering Committee is pleased to present their Top 10 ways to prepare.

  1. Set your goals. Determine your primary and supplementary goals for the conference.  Is it racking up as many PDHs as possible?  Networking with as many new faces as you can?  Finding a new teaming partner?  Or maybe it’s building brand awareness.  Set focused goals so you can prepare accordingly…and then achieve them!

  2. Get familiar with the Schedule-at-a-Glance so you have an idea of what is happening when. These are long days with lots of activities taking place. Take a look at your goals and figure out how you can spread out tackling them over the three days.

  3. Review all the sessions taking place and determine which ones align with your goals. Don't be too aggressive with your learning schedule - remember, you need downtime during the day to network and recharge.

  4. Search the organizations that are exhibiting and create a list of those you need to visit!  A useful way to categorize your targets can be:

    • MUST visit exhibitors

    • Secondary list of companies to visit once I’ve visited with my must-connect list.

    • If I have time…I’ll check out these folks

  5. Check out our pre-conference webinars and get set-up for success...just click on the link to participte in the webinar or watch the recording

  6. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! Two weeks before the conference, a list of pre-registered attendees will be posted in the Attendee Service Center.  Download it and sort it. reach out in advance individually to people who can help you meet your goals!  With thousands of people expected, do not count on chance that they'll be able to do a private chat when you're available. Set up a time and send a meeting invite.

  7. Be sure to pack the right clothes!  Refer to the dress code to make sure you have the appropriate attire for every occasion. Speaking of packing, bring plenty of business cards! Check out the SAME Flickr album from JETC 2019 to get a photo-version of what most are wearing!

  8. Join us at the First-Time Attendee and New Member Orientation on Tuesday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m.  Here you can meet with others who've never attended as well as some seasoned JETC-goers who can help show you the ropes. And, you just might find a companion to attend social events with, making it a bit less intimidating!

  9. Be flexible! During the conference, keep your goals top-of-mind but remember to allow flexibility to account for setting meetings on-site.

  10. FOLLOW-UP! Set a date on your calendar within a week AFTER the conference for follow-up with contacts made.  If you don't make it a priority now, time will pass and you'll have a pile of cards and fleeting memories.  IT IS THE FOLLOW-UP THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT! 

If you take the time to prepare - you'll be golden!

Remember to review your plan the weekend before the big event.  Do check for new information (maybe some new hosts or exhibitors signed-on since you made your initial list), update your plan accordingly, and remind yourself of your goals.  Be flexible and have fun!  Always choose quality over quantity.  Just one right contact can have a huge impact on your business!

Additional Suggestions for a Successful Conference:

  • Remember you cannot do it all - zero in on your top targets and sessions.  You'll never get to it all so make the most of the ones you can get to!
  • Don't focus on selling your firm and its capabilities in every conversation.  Focus on the people and getting to know them through listening.  Everything else will follow!
  • OPEN YOUR CIRCLE!  It's tempting to catch up with old friends..but make sure to keep that circle open to include new faces.
  • Bring a message of "win/win" to both clients and teaming partners. Most people are receptive when a situation is mutually beneficial.
  • JUST BE YOURSELF!  Don't stress over finding the best contacts.  Talk to people, make friends, and build relationships.  The business will come as a result.

ENJOY the conference and have fun!

2022 JETC Expo

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