Making the Most of a Return to In-Person Industry Events

Revel Blog | Chris Lybeer | September 1, 2021 |


With the return of events top of mind for many businesses, Revel’s Chief Strategy Officer Chris Lybeer weighs in on the value of in-person industry events, and how to make the most of your time at them as both a stakeholder and an attendee. 

Events: The Comeback Kid 

Prior to the pandemic, events dominated the restaurant and retail industries. They created the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people, watch live product demos, learn from industry leaders, purchase new solutions, and (hopefully) have some fun at the same time. 

With CDC guidelines in mind, a sharp events team, and collective optimism, Revel has been gearing up for a return to industry events and conferences in a big way. I’ve gathered my thoughts on how to get the most bang for your buck at these events, and included a sneak peak at which events you’ll catch the Revel team at in the coming months. 

My Go-To Industry Events Checklist 

I’ve had the opportunity to attend more industry events than I can count throughout my career, and there have been few that disappointed. I’m always in favor of an in-person meet up, and these events offer the perfect opportunity to put faces to names and build relationships. Below are my go-to pieces of advice to make the most out of attending an industry event or conference. 

Shake Hands—Or Elbow Bump

The magic of a good industry event is the opportunity to connect directly with people. So make sure you do that! Elbow bumping is the new, safer handshake these days, and I’m ok with that. You probably have a personal preference, but my point is to put yourself out there while attending these events. Take business cards and hand them out, write down names, and be sure to follow up. 

Pick a Few Meaningful Panels to Attend

Larger industry events often have a robust lineup of panels, which can sometimes be overwhelming. Do your homework and read up on the two to three panels that really fit your wishlist, factoring in topics of interest and the panelists themselves. At the panel, consider asking a question directly to a panelist to warm up a future introduction and conversation. 

Determine the Booths You Want to Visit Ahead of Time 

Attending industry events is ultimately meant to be fun and a chance to engage with people in your industry. But if you made the financial investment to attend the event, there’s a good chance that you wanted the chance to speak face to face with some of the partners you work with everyday. Booths are a great place to do that.

Rule number one: schedule a few key appointments ahead of time! These events can be busy, overwhelming, and exhausting. I also recommend jotting down a list of the priority booths that you want to visit, their booth numbers (which are typically available on the event or conference’s website), and any specific questions you may have. 

Take advantage of this in-person opportunity to dig deeper into a product question, or have the businesses’ representative walk you through a live demo of a new feature you’ve been wanting to try. The odds are good that they’re equally excited to chat with you, and scheduling an appointment ensures you’ll receive quality attention at the booth. 

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed

After witnessing a shutdown of industry events in 2020, my team at Revel is excited to see our event calendar finally begin to fill back up. With the health and safety of everyone in mind, we continue to work alongside various events staff to monitor CDC guidelines and ensure a safe experience for our attendees. 

If you met us at the International Pizza Expo or plan to attend either of the events listed below, please don’t be a stranger! 

  • FSTEC (September 12-14 in Grapevine, TX): I’m really looking forward to attending this event in September. Stop by our booth for a short demo to get a peek of Revel's frictionless curbside and order management solution. You can also schedule a private deep dive and Q&A with a Revel sales engineer. See you there!
  • Specialty Coffee Expo (September 29 to October 3 in New Orleans, LA): Calling all caffeine aficionados! Revel and coffee shops go hand in hand, and we always look forward to meeting up with other coffee industry experts at this event. 

We Hope to See You Soon

I believe there is still a long road ahead of us before we reach pre-pandemic levels for events, conferences, and in-person meet ups. Health and safety have to remain the number one priority. The recent resurgence in industry events, however, gets me really excited. I love having the chance to watch operators interact with our platform and realize its potential. More than that, I love connecting with others in the industry sharing the same passion about food, beverages, service, and the tech advancements propelling those forward. 

If traveling to events isn’t in the cards for you just yet, luckily we’ve still got other ways to get in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to schedule a virtual demo. Whether it be in-person or virtual, our team is here to help answer your questions about platforming for the future with Revel.