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ne of the best opportunities at PACK EXPO Connects is to connect directly with technical experts—no getting shuffled around by some receptionist or patiently waiting for someone to call you back. The innovative set-up at PACK EXPO Connects allows you to clearly view when staff are available and who from the team seems like the best candidate to respond.

To make the best use of your time when connecting via chat, consider these four important tips.‍

4 Tips for Using Chat

Make a Schedule of Must-Sees

‍PACK EXPO Connects boasts the widest variety of packaging and processing suppliers around. To most efficiently meet the suppliers of greatest interest to you, you’re going to want to create an “event plan” of who to engage with using the MyConnectsPlanner. The MyConnects Planner allows you to flag all products and exhibitors of interest, create Outlook reminders of live demos that you want to attend, and exhibitors whom you would like to chat with. Once the show opens, you can simply click on those contacts you’ve saved to be taken to their Showrooms and see who is standing by to chat one to one. Even better, because the MyConnectsPlanner will store the “Virtual Business Cards” of these contacts, you’ll have an easy place to keep track of everyone you’ve met with and those whom you want to explore additional conversations with outside of the chat platform.‍

Have Your “Backstory” Ready

‍You can simply go in and have an impromptu conversation with any exhibitor, of course. But just like with a live trade show, many attendees at virtual events find they’ll get the best and fastest responses to their particular questions when they’re able to provide a bit of information up front about their particular circumstances:

·     What do you manufacture?

·     How big is your organization?

·     Where are you located?

·     And what is your biggest pain point currently?

Coming prepared to share a little bit of background like this—even just having a sentence or two at the ready—can help move conversations along. (Tip: Consider storing these backstory statements in a text note on your computer so that you can paste it right into the chat window, instead of retyping it each time.) The exhibitor can quickly identify product features that may be of most interest to you and share aspects of their product(s) that have been particularly valuable to your peers. The result? This small bit of direction will help you experience more efficient and meaningful conversations.

Spot the Green Indicator

‍When you enter a Showroom during exhibiting hours, you’ll immediately be able to determine which representatives are available to chat one on one. Simply scroll to the “Chat with Us” area of the Showroom, and look for the green “available” indicator and press the “chat” button to immediately strike up a conversation. If you prefer to schedule a meeting instead of engaging by live chat (or you’re visiting the virtual Showroom outside of expo hours and chat isn’t available), simply click on the link under the exhibitor’s contact information).

Relax! And Chat for as Little or as Long as You’d Like

‍It can take a bit to get into the rhythm of live chatting. Take your time, don’t feel rushed and let the conversation flow. Now is your time to ask questions! Whether it’s average time to market, product maintenance needs, integration considerations––you’re free to discuss all considerations while vetting suppliers. If at any point you would like to move the conversation into a group setting or have a more lengthy discussion, simply suggest meeting outside of chat.You and the supplier can then schedule a convenient time for both partiest o reconnect either during or after the show however desired, by phone or personal video conference.

Designated chat hours at PACK EXPO Connects are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. CST Monday, Nov. 9-Thursday, Nov. 12, and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. CST Friday, Nov. 13.

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