How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference

How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference

Think about it… for two or three days, an entire industry is going to be hearing the same speakers, seeing the same booths and drinking at the same happy hour. It’s an opportune time for any vendor.

Whether you’re looking to learn about the newest technologies and pick up selling tips from other vendors, or you want to connect with business owners that need your services, making the most of events like conferences and tradeshows requires a little bit of planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get the most out of attending a conference:


Find the Right Tradeshow to Attend

Which tradeshows target the audience you want to partner with? Are the events local, or do you need to travel? Are there happy hours you can sponsor? What about speaking opportunities? Find the tradeshows that work best for your goals and budget, and sign up for them. We suggest attending events like DattoCon, IT Nation, ChannelCon and the 4u2grow Annual Conference.


Plan Everything in Advance

The biggest mistake you could make when it comes to tradeshows is failing to do your research beforehand. What is the schedule for the event? How much time is available to connect with prospects and network? Create an itinerary from the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the pillow. Include time for networking, but give yourself ample opportunity to veer off course if it means talking longer with interested prospects.


Stock Up on Business Cards

Calculate how many business cards you’re going to need for the tradeshow or conference. How many people are attending the event? Figure out how many people you want to talk to – then double that number. It’s better to have too many business cards than to speak with a qualified lead the last second of the conference and not have anything to give them.


Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

Think about what you want your prospects to know. What are their pain points? How can you solve them? What is the most important thing they need to know? Start with a surprising statistic that captures their attention and then address their concerns – quickly. You can’t read off a script, so practice your talking points and be prepared to adjust your pitch on the fly.

Attending tradeshows, conferences and other events can be stressful, but by following this guide you’ll be prepared for almost all the curveballs they throw at you. Look for your opportunity, be diligent following up with prospects and don’t be afraid to connect with the competition.

For more information on what tradeshows you should attend, how to get the most out of attending a conference and how Marketopia can help you succeed at these events, contact us today.


Section 179 Deduction – What’s New?

Section 179 Deduction – What’s New?

Section 179 is back, and it’s bigger than ever. If you didn’t take advantage of this business-boosting tax break last year, don’t worry – there’s still time to benefit before 2018 ends.

Instead of gradually depreciating large purchases over several years, Section 179 allows businesses to deduct the full price of qualifying equipment in the year it’s purchased. This applies whether the equipment is purchased outright, financed or leased, and whether you get it new or used. The goal is for businesses to stay competitive in a rapidly-evolving market by upgrading lagging technology and equipment that’s holding them back from optimal performance. If you were so concerned with supporting your clients’ technology that you’ve been neglecting your own, Section 179 deduction can help you get up to date.


Questions? We’re here to answer them, starting with…


What counts as a qualifying purchase?

  • Equipment used for business purposes more than 50% of the time
  • Computers, workstations, laptops, tablets and smartphones
  • “Off-the-shelf” software without substantial modification
  • Office machinery and equipment like servers, printers, routers and network security appliances
  • Office furniture
  • Commercial use vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds
  • Nonresidential property improvements like fire suppression, alarms, security systems, HVAC and roofing
  • How do I use Section 179?


Your equipment must be put into use by midnight on December 31, 2018. At tax time, claim your deduction using Form 4562. Even if you have a net loss, you may be qualified to deduct some of the cost and carry forward your loss. To confirm your eligibility, consult with your accountant or another tax professional.


How much can I deduct?

The maximum total amount you can write off is $1 million. However, for the remainder of 2018, you can claim the full deduction until you’ve reached $2.5 million in purchases. After that, the deduction decreases dollar for dollar up to $3.5 million.


When should I replace my equipment?

The lifecycle of your technology depends on usage and maintenance, but a good guideline is five to seven years for computers, three to five years for other tech (such as printers), and six to 10 years for company vehicles.

Outdated technology slows down innovation, frustrates your employees and customers, and costs you thousands of dollars in unplanned downtime. Or, you could leverage Section 179 deduction to get brand-new (or new-to-you) tech while mitigating the upfront cost.

Of course, tax breaks are only one way to support your business. Looking for more ways to grow? Contact us today to talk about moving forward.