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Last Minute Must Do’s Before Leaving for NASC
The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sports Event Symposium is just around the corner! And if you’re attending for the first time, you’re in for a real treat.
On April 23rd, people from all over the country will come to Minneapolis to learn from and network with hundreds of sports tourism professionals. The NASC Symposium “will feature dozens of authentic educational sessions, countless networking opportunities, and business development appointments in the NASC Sports Marketplace.”
As a newbie, attending your first NASC can be a little overwhelming. You might not be sure what to expect, what to bring, or how to prepare for the show. Whether you’re a vendor, an event owner, or a destination attending NASC for the first time, here are some tips to help you get ready for the show.
Check Your Itinerary + Plan Your Arrival
Traveling to a new city can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re going alone. One of the best ways to feel good about your upcoming travel plans is to double check your itinerary and plan how you’re going to get to and from NASC.
A few days before your trip, make a plan for what you’re going to do when you first get to Minneapolis:
How far is your hotel from the airport?
How are you going to get to the hotel from the airport? Uber, taxi, or walk?
How far is your hotel from the Minneapolis Convention Center?
How are you going to get to the Convention Center from your hotel? Uber, taxi, or walk?
The last thing you want is to get stressed while navigating Minneapolis - that can put a damper on your conference trip. So have a plan for getting to and from the airport and Convention Center to help you feel at ease.
Check the Conference Website + Schedule + Plan Your Day
Once you have your travel/arrival plans organized and ready to go, you’ll want to plan your days at NASC. There will be a lot to see and do, so creating a schedule and planning how you’ll spend your time can help ensure you achieve your goals (more on that later).
Check out the NASC website to make sure you don’t miss any last minute news, info, or resources. You can also follow NASC on Twitter (@NASC_News) or the hashtag #NASC18 for news on the event. (We’ve also shared a list of top NASC resources below.)
Review the schedule and outline the sessions you want to attend. Organize them by their scheduled time to help you find holes in the day and give you ideas on when you can meet and mingle with other conference goers, take breaks, or visit the Exhibitors.
Have your elevator pitch ready to go. You never know who you’re going to meet and when, so having your elevator pitch prepped and ready gives you the opportunity to make a good first impression at a moment’s notice.
Appointment schedule and research. If you have appointments, spend a few minutes researching each prospect to identify leverage points.
Set Some Goals
While your goal(s) for attending NASC will depend on your attendee type (vendor, an event owner, or a destination), it’s important to know these goals and your plans to achieve them before you even get to Minneapolis. Your goals will affect how you plan your day at the show and the sessions you decide to attend.
Some tips for setting goals:
Be realistic! If you’re a vendor, you’re goal shouldn’t be to get 100 new leads/contacts. That’s not a fair goal to set. Your goal should be to get 5-10 qualified leads that you can really leverage when you get home.
Make sure your goals are specific. Good goals are time-bound (length of conference), realistic (like above), measurable (use numbers or data), action-oriented (there are specific tasks to do to achieve the goal, and specific (detailed).
What to Bring
When attending NASC, there are a few must-have items that you should bring with you:
Laptop / notebook - For lots of note-taking.
Power bank to keep your devices charged – An absolute must if you want to stay connected throughout the show.
Business cards & sales collateral - For meeting lots of new people and staying in touch later.
Reach out to your mentor!
When you registered for NASC, you were assigned a mentor. Take advantage of this unique resource and ask them questions before the show. They are familiar with the conference and can help you prep, calm nervous energy, or just a be a friendly face to see when you get to Minneapolis.
Handy Resources for First Time NASC Attendees
As you’re prepping and planning for NASC throughout the next few weeks, check out (or bookmark!) the following resources:
Other Last Minute Tips for NASC
You can’t attend everything, but that should be your mindset. Network and meet as many attendees as you can. It’s all about relationships; it’s cliche but true!
Dress is business casual. And make sure to bring comfy shoes for walking around!
Follow NASC on social media to stay updated on the latest happenings
We can’t wait for you to attend NASC for the first time!
By: Jeff Lukasak - Pse Event Housing