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Plan Ahead to Maximize Your Investment!

Advanced planning is essential to make your time at any conference a success. NVSBC is pleased to present their Top 10 ways to prepare for the VETS23 Conference!


  1. Determine your primary and supplementary goals for the conference. Is it learning about specific business opportunities for your company? Is it gaining tips on how you can more successfully engage with federal agencies? Finding a new teaming partner? Or maybe it’s building brand awareness. Set focused goals so you can prepare accordingly…and then achieve them!
  2. Find out what opportunities are currently out there for your primary NAICS code. Look at the opportunities out there for prime contracts to which you know you can be a sub. Do a search on Contract Opportunities!
  3. Use competitive intelligence on your opportunities!
    1. Watch our Charlie Mike training on how to use such data (coming soon)! Then...
    2. Use an online resource such as, Federal Compass, Fedmine or GovWin to find:
      1. What recent federal contracts have been awarded to companies like yours
      2. Prime contractors that sub-contract for your specialty
  4. Get your supporting materials together
    1. Update your capabilities statement so it is current and reflects your core competencies that are most appropriate to the agencies/firms/partners you plan to connect with at the VETS23 Conference. Think about creating multiple cap statements focused on specific opportunities and specific meetings you will have at the VETS23 Conference! Check out our Charlie Mike Training on Capabilities Statements featuring TargetGOV guru Gloria Larkin to give you some inspiration!
    2. Check that your LinkedIn profile is current and update your member profile on the VetFedConnect website too.
    3. Look at your company’s other marketing materials, update them as needed, bring a handful of copies with you...and make sure you have links to them as well. Be prepared to offer digital instead of hard copies.
  5. Starting in April, make Matched Networking appointments with agencies, companies, and individuals that are participating in the program. Consider which agencies haven't met THEIR socio-economic goals, and work together so you can help them meet their goals. If you have multiple reps from your company attending, divide and conquer!
    1. Matched Networking appointments will open according to the following schedule:
      1. April 3: all registered individuals from NVSBC Member firms may request appointments
      2. April 10: all other registered VETS23 attendees may request appointments
    2. Each individual is limited to making three appointments prior to the conference. If availability remains on May 21, the three-appointment limit will be lifted.
  6. Search the organizations that are exhibiting and create a list of those you need to visit! A useful way to categorize your targets can be:
    1. MUST visit exhibitors
    2. Secondary list of companies to visit once I’ve visited with my must-connect list.
    3. If I have time…I’ll check out these folks
  7. Review all the sessions taking place and determine which ones align with your goals. Then, bookmark the sessions in the itinerary builder.
  8. Two weeks before the conference, a list of pre-registered attendees will be posted in the Attendee Service Center. Download it and sort it…reach out in advance individually to people who can help you meet your goals! With thousands of people expected, do not count on chance that they'll be able to do a private chat when you're available. Set up a time and send a meeting invite.
  9. Set a date on your calendar within a week AFTER the conference for follow-up with contacts made. If you don't make it a priority now, time will pass and you'll have a pile of cards and fleeting memories. IT IS THE FOLLOW-UP THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

If you take the time to prepare - you'll be golden!

Place a reminder on your calendar to review your plan the weekend before the big event – May 18 or 19. Do check for new information (maybe some new hosts or exhibitors signed-on since you made your initial list), update your plan accordingly, and remind yourself of your goals. Be flexible and have fun! Always choose quality over quantity. Just one right contact can have a huge impact on your business!

Additional Suggestions for a Successful Conference:

  • You cannot do it all - zero in on your top targets and sessions. You'll never get to it all so make the most of the ones you can get to!
  • Don't focus on selling your firm and its capabilities in every conversation. Focus on the people and getting to know them through listening. Everything else will follow!
  • OPEN YOUR CIRCLE! It's tempting to catch up with old friend but make sure to keep that circle open to include new faces.
  • Set a goal to collect a specific number of new business cards every day from high value contacts. 5 business cards? 15 business cards? Set YOUR goal!
  • Bring a message of "win/win" to both clients and teaming partners. Most people are receptive when a situation is mutually beneficial.
  • JUST BE YOURSELF! Don't stress over finding the best contacts. Talk to people, make friends, and build relationships. The business will come as a result.

ENJOY the conference and have fun! We'll see you in Orlando!