Next Level Solutions has made the effort to attend InsureTech Connect in Las Vegas for the past several years. It's arguably one of the biggest and best conferences in the industry - so we fly our team out there to learn, shake hands, show off our brand and hopefully gain some new business. We opted for a booth this year and a sponsorship at closing party with the iconic Earth, Wind and Fire. Our brand was present throughout the week, which hopefully increased awareness of our growing company so that others can see the impact we are making on the industry. This being my second ITC, I've compiled a short list of tips to help squeeze out every possible advantage at the annual show.
Attend a session that caters to your job function
Author, Influencer and Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk was a keynote speaker early on at the ITC conference and he brought in a GIANT crowd. I appreciated that he used a lot of swear words (because so do I), but he also delivered a lot of important truths about the technological future of the insurance industry and beyond. Some nuggets of wisdom: AI is here to stay, and if your company doesn’t learn and adapt to that reality, you will be left in the dust. As tech professionals, we need to be constantly educating ourselves on emerging technology that will change insurance and change the world. Gary also said several times that we should be posting on LinkedIn … A LOT. Like, three times per day. This was important for our marketing department to hear because we’ve historically been somewhat timid with our posting to avoid overkill. But hearing about the importance of consistent content, we’ve got some work to do on that front. We’ll be collecting and writing content from our massive team of industry experts so that we can publish the blogs, articles and podcasts that matter the most to our audience.
Get sales meetings on your ITC calendar before the conference
Our team worked diligently to reach out to prospective clients and set up meetings weeks before the conference. This gave us the opportunity to make schedules for our team members and maximize our impact at ITC. And meetings don’t have to be a huge ordeal. We had prospects meet us at our booth or we set up time at the convenient meeting table scattered throughout the conference floor. Sometimes a 15-minute chat is all it takes to make a valuable connection that could turn into a meaningful and profitable relationship down the road.
Aim to make your booth experience unique and memorable
There was a sea of purple, blue and green booths at ITC this year. Companies did an amazing job at designing their spaces and offering swag that would attract passersby to stop and talk. I like to think we stood out with a color palette of black, white and red – it was sexy, sharp and eye-catching. We also gave out NLS lip balm, which ended up being a lifesaver in the dry Vegas atmosphere. Once people get to your booth, it’s paramount to have a quick pitch about what your company does and how it impacts the industry. Better yet? Be prepared to speak on how your tech can benefit your customers. We learned that even if you meet someone who might not be a client, connect with them on LinkedIn – new friends and acquaintances can lead to huge network growth.
Wear your comfy shoes
Our team made a point to walk the conference floor to see what other companies were doing well and where they may have missed the mark. Take note of ideas for future swag, booth additions, brand aesthetic and gimmicks that work. The conference floor is gigantic – and it’s more than likely somewhat of a hike to get from your hotel room to the ITC hive. Be prepared to get in those steps. High heels are cute, but blisters are not your friend when day two rolls around. Put on footwear that will allow you to meander the floor so you can chat with other industry professionals and scarf down the conference meals. We had great conversations during lunch time when we sat with strangers to talk shop.
Get closer to your team by having good old-fashioned fun
While most of our sales and marketing teams are stationed in Springfield, Missouri, we did have several members from other states present at ITC. We dedicated time for a team dinner, a field trip to Fremont Street and a sponsorship to the after party with Earth, Wind and Fire. Going to ITC is a big undertaking and a lot of work, so it was important for us to spend time enjoying each other’s company when we weren’t focused on booth duty and client meetings. Our team grew closer, which will lead to enhanced collaboration as we push into 2024.