Update: Per request, I'll be Twittering some highlights and events as they happen from the Expo. If you want to get updated accordingly, follow me on Twitter.
We are but a few short days away from New Media Expo 2008. I offer my 8 top tips here but would love you're additional tips in the comments section.
1. Buy the Full Conference Pass but then be willing to miss anything. Remember that everyone who buys the pass gets all of the recordings within a week. The valuable education part of this you can experience by time shift. Attend the ones that make sense attending live (either for the speaker or the audience that might be in attendance), but be willing to miss the ones that don't make sense for you during your short Vegas stay.
The real important feature of the pass is that it will separate you from the thousands on the floor. If you want a real discussion with a speaker, a power user, a large vendor, a “rock star” (see below), etc., the Conference track will get you the access you want.
2. Keep well hydrated. Vegas food is, well, Vegas food. Conference food is, well, conference food. Hotel food is, well, you get the idea. I won't even go into the adult beverages that one might take in during the course of this trip. The key is to keep well hydrated.
Big tip – most hotel exercise rooms have a cold filtered water source.
3. Practice your USP. Your USP is your “unique selling proposition.” It is what separates you from all the rest. Know yours – and be able to give yours in 8 seconds or less. A “I do a really cool show about everything” is not a unique selling proposition. Let me give you a few USPs to model from:
I help people leverage New Media to get their message out to more people with less effort and for greater profits.
We enable Podcast personalization, secure delivery, tracking and the sales of RSS delivered media. Everyone doesn't have to get the same Podcast.
TubeMogul is a free service that provides a single point for deploying uploads to the top video sharing sites, and powerful analytics on who, what, and how videos are being viewed.
Wizzard Media Advertising is about bringing together great brands with the best shows in podcasting. The combination of top media creators and Wizzards content verification software makes it safe and easy for advertisers to match their message with appropriate content.
Podcasting Kit for Sharepoint is an accelerator for social media, using Podcasting, and social networks to deliver the next generation knowledge management experience to Microsoft customers.
Yes, the first one was my own personal USP and the second one was the USP for Premiumcast.com. You can guess the source of the others.
Post your USP below!
4. The first morning, make a quick loop around the floor before you do anything else. In short, you want to get a “big picture” of the event before you decide on your strategy for taking things on. You can tell a lot about a company by what their booth looks like, who is staffing it, what they're giving away, etc. Once you've made your loop, sit down for a few minutes, drink some water, and plan your attack.
5. Realize the best moments for you aren't on the schedule. This one is extremely important. The connections you make in the hallway, with a passer by, during a session, while talking at a booth, etc. – these are the ones that count. Look out for these opportunities and embrace them. Point #1 above is, honestly, all about buying access to a better chance at such opportunities.
6. If you want to approach a New Media “Rock Star” … do so intelligently. The “Rock Stars” in our space are very cool people and very approachable. They are attending this event because they want to meet their audience, etc.
However, there are times and moments when they will be surrounded by fans. There will be times when they really want nothing more than to escape to the bathroom or visit the speaker lounge. You can tell a lot by looking into their eyes and seeing if they look like now is a “good time.” Use a little common sense in approaching them and you'll meet those that you want to meet.
7. Vegas doesn't sleep – you must. This one should be pretty obvious, but we all need a reminder now and then. If you want those moments I'm describing above, you'll need more than a catnap between the poker game the Profitable Podcasters Meetup.
8. Keep up with the New Media Expo Events Wiki. This little site is the default page for “everything else” going on at the event. It's kinda silly there is no RSS feature but you can get updated by email and would do well bookmarking this page and checking on a semi-regular basis.
Those are my top 8 tips – post yours below!