Insights from a Rookie, Lessons From the Industry Vets
We all know that Enterprise Connect (EC) is one of the biggest events of the year for those in the communications and collaborations space in North America. As an EC rookie, I was eager to understand why the event attracts so many enterprise decision-makers, and what those enterprises are really looking to get out of their experience.
To find out, I spoke with a few long-time attendees - from business leaders to IT execs – to share their advice. Here are the top three tips they shared:
1. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone & Be Open
Don't stay away from topics outside of your area of expertise. Even if you are unsure where to start, seize new opportunities and avoid the old excuses like "it's complicated," "I don't have time to learn," "I don’t need to know it for my job," or "it won't impact my job in the future."
If any of these sound familiar – it may be time to get out of your comfort zone, and open yourself up to learning more about the trends and technologies that make you feel uncomfortable. That might mean asking questions about the cloud if you recently implemented an on-premises solution, or expanding your knowledge of basic call center to advanced contact center solutions and artificial intelligence (AI).
Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone means being one of the more inexperienced people in the room, but you might be surprised and may uncover a new passion or better solution for your business needs.
Regardless, at EC you have all the new information and solutions at your fingertips. You have direct access to leading solutions and the opportunity to be face-to-face with experts who are willing to take their time to help. Despite your budget or if/when you think a new trend will impact you, it’s important to stay educated, aware and prepared for today’s fast evolving communication landscape.
2. Find New Connections & Initiate Reconnections
Did you know that more than 6,000 attendees are expected to join this year’s Enterprise Connect?
I often say that the business communication industry is a “small world.” Social media like Linkedin reminds me this everyday with connections from my past and present. And just like we have education, employers, clients and products in common – most of us in the communication industry have EC in common.
This year, it may be time to make an extra, proactive effort to make new connections, identify those connections you want to make and reconnect with your existing industry contacts. Otherwise, you're next opporunity for a face-to-face meeting might not come around again until next year's event.
Remember – it’s a small world and it’s very likely your paths will cross again soon. Build your relationships when you have the chance, share best practices and learn from each other.
3. Stay Focused on YOUR Needs
It’s easy to stroll through the show floor and get distracted with shiny vendor pitches and demos of the latest technologies. Maybe you don't understand what problem it "actually" solves, you're trying to complete your “scavenger hunt” list to win the prize, or even find that perfect piece of swag to bring home.
Whatever it is – try to stay focused and invest your time in educating yourself on those solutions that can help solve your IT and business needs. Find out who and what can help eliminate your headaches, improve workforce productivity and processes, and in the end, enable more growth in your bottom line. This is why you came to Enterprise Connect in the first place, right?
The next time you find yourself swimming through a sea of vendors who are pushing their features before your needs… you may want to pause, step back and start getting back to the basics:
- What are the challenges that keep you up at night?
- Are you happy with your current solutions? What would you keep the same, what do you wish you could change?
- What are your future business priorities and why?
- Who are the stakeholders; what are their key requirements?
Having clear answers to these questions will be critical to your success in maximizing your time on the EC Expo floor and effectively evaluating the right solutions to meet you business needs.
*Special thanks to digital campaign manager Lexie Bond for her contributions to this article.