By Conrad Mills, Services Line Marketing Manager, Large Enterprise Operations, Xerox Europe

Conrad is a Gartner Symposium veteran and keen amateur triathlete in his spare time, you can follow him on Twitter @conradmills

event attendee tips for Gartner SymposiumWith just under two months to go, IT professionals right across the globe are busy polishing their presentations, massaging their networking muscles and sharpening their selling skills, all for this year’s much anticipated Gartner Symposium taking place 5 – 8 November in Barcelona. Typically attended by over 4,000 people including more than 1,500 CIOs, this is the event to be at on the European Technology circuit. This year’s agenda offers 350 plus analyst sessions, workshops, roundtables and mastermind keynotes across four full days. So to ensure you get the most out of this event, I have compiled ten top tips for first time visitors to help you be prepared:

  1. Book your hotel well in advance. Check out Gartner’s recommended hotels and book now, otherwise you may end up having to stay out of town.
  2. Event objectives. Work out what you want to achieve out of this Symposium. With over 100 show exhibitors and a plethora of sessions, there’s a lot to get round in four days.
  3. Preparation is vital; book your sessions in advance to avoid disappointment.
  4. Remember if you forget anything, there’s a large shopping complex nearby. Visit the Diagonal Mar which is just opposite the Symposium venue Centre Convencions Internacional for all your last minute items. I actually forgot my cuff links last year!
  5. Ensure that you have the right shoes. Ladies take note; so many times I have seen event shoe injuries afflicted by killer heels.
  6. Pace yourself – Don’t drink too much at the various soirees. It’s not Fresher’s Week and we’re not 21 anymore. However do remember beroccas and alka seltzers just in case.
  7. Applications for printing. If you’ve forgotten to print your presentation handouts or meeting documents don’t worry as Xerox will be providing mobile print at the event for all attendees.
  8. Restaurant research. For off-piste evenings, book ahead. Barcelona has some of the best restaurants in Europe, but they do get booked up. This guide gives some good tips. My personal favourite is Passadís del Pep, there’s no menu but they have a great range of fresh seafood dishes.
  9. Elocution lessons. Take a few classes to learn some useful Spanish phrases to help you feel at home in Barcelona. And remember, beer is cerveza in Spanish.
  10. Don’t forget to arm yourself with intelligent and challenging questions when meeting peers and prospects – especially managed print providers. But that’s another blog post so watch this space….

What are your top tips for attending events and trade shows? How do you make the most of them? We’d be more than happy to extend our list. Please share your ideas in our comments section below – we’d love to hear them.