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New to WINDPOWER? Here’s what you need to know

New to WINDPOWER? Here’s what you need to know
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In just five weeks wind energy professionals from all over the globe will gather to network, learn and advance their mission at WINDPOWER 2018, the industry’s largest exhibition in the Western Hemisphere.

AWEA works hard to attract new and diverse groups to the conference each year, with the goal of sparking new conversations, new connections and new ideas. However, as a first time attendee, we understand that it can be difficult to navigate the conference and experience all that WINDPOWER has to offer.

To help you get the most out of your inaugural event, here are some tips to improve your experience:

Pregame: Before You Go

  • Register early to get on the list of attendees as soon as possible. It’s important that other attendees know that you’re attending so they can make contact with you or arrange a meeting.
  • Design your own experience. View the education sessions and check out which exhibitors you most want to visit. If you have a team, divide who will attend what and visit with who to maximize the conference’s offerings.
  • Download the event app! In the app you can network with other attendees and exhibitors, plan your schedule, download presentations, and much more.

Once You’re There

  • Get a head start by attending the Monday afternoon pre-con seminars. If you’re new to the show AND the industry, lay a foundation by attending the Wind 101 pre-con.
  • Introduce yourself. The knowledge and experience at WINDPOWER is remarkable. You never know what you’ll learn from a short conversation or the ways your paths could cross again in the future.
  • Attend the opening reception. This year’s event will be held Monday evening within the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. This iconic location in Chicago is a beautiful, indoor one-acre botanical garden under a six story glass atrium. It provides spectacular views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan and the Ferris wheel.
  • Take advantage of all networking opportunities, including the informal meet ups, which are a great way to interact with others in a less formal setting.
  • Stop by the AWEA booth and meet our staff, get to know the services we provide, and pick up some wind gear at the AWEA store.
  • Get social! Use the hashtags #WINDWORKS and #WINDPOWER2018.
  • Think about a few challenges you currently face in your role and focus on getting some ideas on how to better manage those.  Time out of the office always feels well spent if you have a few specific takeaways to bring back.
  • Do a little sightseeing. Your primary mission is conference business, but carve out a little time to see the city of Chicago. You can see the city while continuing to network with the Thursday afternoon choose-your-own-ending tours.
  • Have fun! It’s okay if you can’t see and do it all while you’re at WINDPOWER. Schedule as much as you can, but leave yourself a little free time for impromptu meetings or reflecting on all you’ve learned.

Postgame: Once You’re Home

  • Share what you learned with your team. The insights you gained at the conference are likely to be useful to others, so make sure to set aside time to pass on what you learned.
  • Stay in touch with those you made a connection with while the conference is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Connect through the event app, LinkedIn or email.  Make sure your follow-ups are appropriately tailored to what you discussed.

So there you have it—you’re ready to embark on your first WINDPOWER! We hope you will make the most out of your time in Chicago and return to WINDPOWER 2019 in Houston as a seasoned expert!

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Jen is AWEA's Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Initiatives. As a member of the MVE team, she helps develop marketing strategies for AWEA events, exhibitions, sponsorships, membership, and publications Prior to joining AWEA, she spent 11 years with the Personal Care Products Council where she oversaw marketing, conference planning, sponsorships, webinars, and an industry certification effort that facilitates international trade of cosmetics.

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