Get the Most out of attending your professional conference - #POMA2019

On June 18th, 2019 some of the most influential outdoor media professionals, brands, and companies gathered in Wichita, Kansas for #poma2019. The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) annual conference lasts three days. The conference is about building successful outdoor business, networking, and learning from others in the traditional outdoor sporting industry - hunting, fishing. For those that attend (membership only) it is important to set goals and work towards them during your time at conference.

The following is a list of ways to get the most out of your time at #POMA2019, Wichita, Kansas, at the Hyatt Regency.

MEDIA*

1. Set goals. Are you looking to build long-term relationships for the years to come, create content, or speak with editors about contributing? Your approach will depend on your goal.

2. Have realistic expectations and be prepared. Looking for a byline? Come prepared with writing samples. Are you looking for a product or sponsorship? Be sure you have current and exact traffic/viewership and engagement numbers.

3. Don't leave the conversation without an action item. Are you going to send a follow up email or do you need to schedule a conference call? Make sure both parties know the next step and how to contact each other. 

4. Don't forget business cards. There is still time to overnight 150 business cards from VistaPrint - you'll need them! Once at the conference, make sure to note on each business card your action item. 

Pro Tip: Use CamCard to scan business cards on your phone instead of going home with a giant pile. 

5. Attend everything on the agenda. POMA is three days and they should be FULL. From breakfast to the after hours networking, you should attend everything. There are few industry opportunities like POMA where you can network with elite industry partners... over a beer. 

6. Sit with someone new at every meal. Networking doesn't happen in a bubble. Make sure you're meeting and talking to everyone at the event. 

CORPORATE PARTNERS*

1. Do your homework. Know who you want to connect with or, at the very least, know what type of attendee (media/NGO/corporate partner) you want to meet. Have some ideas on what asks you might have, but be open to a different perspective or more interesting angle for storytelling with your brand. 

2. Be ready for plot twists. Just because you're looking for media coverage, doesn't mean a Corporate Partner can't be helpful (or vice versa). The POMA family is well-connected throughout, so approach everyone as an opportunity to learn, grow and expand your brand (personal or corporate). 

3. Networking is a marathon. Don't sprint to the ask. All Corporate Partners want great coverage, and all content creators want great stories. Spend some time getting to know members and understand what they're looking for first. How can you help each other? This approach makes the community stronger, and will result in better results for you and your brand. 

Professional Outdoor Media Association

*the recommendations were copied and repurposed from a press release sent out by POMA June 12, 2019.