This week UNEX will be attending the MHEDA Convention in Orlando, Florida, with Graviton in tow. The Convention is a wonderful opportunity not only to learn, but also to network with other material handling professionals. Unlike MODEX last month, the MHEDA show is more geared toward networking with peers rather than finding new customers. In addition to the dozens of learning opportunities, I always look forward to the Exhibitors’ Showcase on Monday and Roundtable Discussions on Tuesday. It’s an awful lot of activity packed into three days, but it’s always well worth the trip. Also, coming from the Northeast, the warm destinations certainly don’t hurt.
At my very first Convention, I made the mistake of trying to do everything at once. By the end of the day on Tuesday, I was completely burned out. I have since learned that you have to go into this Convention with a game plan. Here is my personal advice for making the most out of your time at MHEDA.
- Go In With A Plan
As I mentioned above, if you try to do everything you will burn yourself out and likely retain very little of what you heard. Go through the list of workshops, keynotes, and sessions and circle the ones that you really want or need to see. If you’re going with a group, make sure to split up. You’ll be able to share the key points of what you learned later, and also share the handouts that accompany most presentations.
- Network, network, network
The MHEDA Convention has a full slate of wonderful learning opportunities. But by far the most valuable aspect of the show are the myriad networking opportunities. From the golf outing on Sunday all the way through the Closing Party on Tuesday, the networking is non-stop. And it’s not only during the show hours where the networking takes place- with every attendee staying in the same hotel, the networking inevitably extends into the lobby or hotel bar after hours. It’s not unrealistic to think that you will be going non-stop from 6:00 a.m. to midnight at an event like this.
- When In Doubt, Go With Those In The Industry
Throughout Monday and Tuesday, but especially during the breakout sessions on Tuesday, you will be presented a buffet of options of seminars to attend. Some are professional presenters and they have great information to give, but I’ve found that the most helpful and insightful advice comes from fellow MHEDA members’ presentations. They don’t have anything to sell and aren’t giving pre-planned, canned presentation. They understand the challenges you are facing, because they’re facing them too.
The best advice, though, is to have fun. This is a great group of attendees and a great organization in MHEDA. At the end of the week you will have learned something, networked with colleagues and shared a lot of laughs along the way. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando.