Exploring trends, technologies, e-resource management, and digital services in libraries.

Preparing to attend ER&L, as a first time exhibitor or sponsor

I get lots of questions from new exhibitors or first time reps attending ER&L about everything from what to wear to when to leave and everything in between. So, I’ll cover the basics and some thoughts on having a great ER&L. I really look forward to meeting you in Austin!
Prep for the Vendor Reception & Tabletop Exhibit
For 2015, the ER&L event has one tabletop exhibit time on Monday night with set up details posted on the ER&L Exhibitor logistics page [logistics page = exhibitor kit = Vendor packet.] If you’re looking for a feel for what this tabletop reception looks like, the photo at the bottom of this page encapsulates the event pretty well.
These are 6-foot tables with access to power and super strong wifi. It is my personal goal that you can exhibit walking off a plane with a single suitcase or box so you can focus your time on connecting and maybe enjoying Austin.
About the reception set up, please try to adhere to these times:
  • Check in 3:00pm – 5:00pm (Let us know you’re here up in Ballroom C, upper level, also referred to as the Grand Ballroom)
  • Set-up time 3:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Reception 5:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Tear-down 8:00pm – 9:00pm (This is an informal time where attendees will be enjoying some entertainment/games in the room. You feel free to break down when you want, join in the games and have a drink of your choice.)
So, the next question to follow is “what should / can reps do for the rest of the time during ER&L?

Here is a day by day summary. You do not have to stay through the entire event, but if you do, here are some suggestions:

  • Sunday – Register. Then, evening Welcome Happy Hour &  Game night / Oscar Viewing party. Relax. It’s Austin!
  • Monday – Register if not done on Sunday. We have daily networking breakfasts. Enjoy the giant, ridiculous buffet daily and all day snacks and beverages are provided. We have extended breaks between session. Most vendors attend sessions, some present on panels while others have had a hand in helping to put together sessions. Monday afternoon, you will greet any shipped materials at your table and set up the 6 foot table. Then manage the table and crowds at the reception. Set up times for meetings for the remainder of your time at ER&L.
  • Tuesday – Breakfast, attend sessions or take meetings. Take notes on great sessions and think about how you/ your company/ your Product Manager or other resources can contribute to the conversations, progress and research happening at ER&L.
  • Wednesday – Breakfast, attend sessions or take meetings.
Pre-ER&L – Your prep!
Review the at attendee list and reach out to pre-schedule meetings or invite them to meet with you. Since the attendees are inundated by sales, we are sensitive to the number of mass emails they get and the list is no longer for sale until post show. I am attaching a public attendee list. Please review it and plan for who you’ll be targeting to meet. If you are having trouble locating an email, I can help you with that. As a first timer, I strongly encourage this extra step, even if your team only has short time to dedicate to perusing the list and reaching out to a few individuals.
Pre-ER&L – Our prep
The ER&L Sponsorship Chair, Heather Jeffcoat, will also be doing a welcome to you and the other new vendors in a featured post on our website next week and Bonnie, the Conference Coordinator will share that in her all attendee emails. I’ll also be pointing to News Bank on social media and creating an entry in our conference schedule in addition to listing you on the website.
Quality over Quantity
It is a different format that most, but I assure you that reps with 20+ years experience to new sales folks have said the quality of attendees and density of traffic in the reception is unlike any other show with a high quantity of exhibit hours. One rep indicated in his 25+ years selling in the library space that the number of people and quality (decision maker or buyer level) was unmatched and intense.
If you’re reading this, this is your first ER&L, so please enjoy it and take it all in. Also, it’s Austin and a fairly business casual to casual conference. I have tons of site photos of outdoor informal meeting spaces, exhibit/ reception spaces, breakfast and session rooms if you’d like to look more of the visuals.
Let me know if that helps you get a sense of the event and if not, give me a call, 708-860-4007.
sandy [at] electroniclibrarian.org