April 1, 2022 | Lynn Schear
In our previous blog about navigating the K–12 district sales cycle, we discussed the what, why, and when behind its importance, while considering several factors that contribute to implementing a successful campaign. We touched on everything from understanding the best market windows of when to research versus launch a new product, identifying what differentiates key influencers from decision–makers, and more.
However, one of the best, and possibly most overlooked initiatives to position yourself for a more rewarding buying cycle is knowing what key industry events and conferences are taking place and when.
Why are education events important?
Big or small, key industry events play a big role regardless of their size or location because they all play host to a variety of district leaders who have influential decision–making and purchasing power. And the more decision–makers and school curriculum purchasers you can get in front of and connect with, the further your return on greater insight will go when preparing to market for and launch new products. Plus, events allow you to meet face–to–face (or at least virtually) to form personal connections with educators and provide a great place to grab educator contact information to fill your CRM.
In our conversation with Daylene Long, CEO, and founder of Catapult X, LLC – a market and product development company that consults exclusively with science and STEM education industry partners – she mentioned the importance of attending some of these key industry events as you prepare to talk about a new product launch.
"It's not an ‘If you build it, they will come' scenario. We wish it were, but It doesn't work that way. You need to be ready to sell a new STEM product or service by the first of the year. Those first six months of the year are selling season, and there are important STEM conferences and events that will help build your market. If you miss that selling window, you can be sure that your competition will not."
–– Daylene Long, CEO, Founder of Catapult X, LLC
That all begs the question – what are some of the most important STEM industry events to look out for when it comes to aiding in your prolific journey through the buying cycle?
Key events & conferences to put on your radar
With ASTE, you're building your future pipeline of educators skilled at understanding how your products and services help teaching and learning. Really, you're building your future cadre of product champions.
Next conference: January 11–14, 2023
Salt Lake City, Utah
Teachers and technicians who are selected from each country (33 countries were represented in 2019's festival in Cascais, Portugal) to attend the festival come together every two years to exchange teaching concepts, share ideas and improve best practices and learning opportunities for educator development.
Next conference: TBD 2024
Previous festival was March 24–27, 2022
Next conference: January 23–26, 2023
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, Louisiana
TCEA is one of the best venues to garner media attention for those products you launch in January.
Next Conference: January 30–February 3, 2023
San Antonio, Texas
Bett is one of the most significant tech meetings globally, so this is a huge conference if you're looking to hear industry leaders talk about big deals, tech trends, and acquisitions
Next Conference: March 29–31, 2023
As one of the nation's leading science and engineering conferences, ITEEA is a prime candidate for targeting STEM–focused influencers and decision–makers.
Next Conference: April 12–15, 2023
Since they take place later in the year than Bett UK, they're good refreshers on new products being introduced as the majority of school district purchases occur in June, at the end of the school fiscal year.
Next Conference: Bett Brasil, May 10–13, 2022
*Bett Asia, postponed to October 11–12, 2022
ISTE is the place to be for media attention, back–to–school brand exposure, networking, and building brand awareness with technology directors.
Next Conference: June 26–29, 2022
New Orleans, Louisiana
NSELA is a crucial conference where lots of district–level educators and decision–makers meet. This is a great conference to consider sponsoring as it provides lots of opportunities for workshops and market research.
Next Conference: June 26–28, 2022
Next Conference: July 21–23, 2022
CareerTech VISION is put on by the ACTE and is a big conference you should try to attend. CTE is a well–funded education market, and Career Tech Vision is the place to be to build relationships.
With so many education–related conferences and events held every year, this list highlights the top tier for getting the most insight from their content and value from their influential attendees. It's the perfect opportunity to seek out schools and districts that are a good fit for your product and get to know them and their needs.
Stay tuned for the third installment in our three–blog series, "Understanding the K–12 District Sales Cycle: A Guide to Product and Market Development." And check out the first blog of our series if you missed it.
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