Conference Networking Tips
Conferences are basically a place where people can come together, talk and learn about a common subject. They can be crowded, loud, and sometimes a bit overbearing, but I they can be extremely helpful when trying to make a connection either for personal or business reasons. I have been to a few conferences in my young lifetime and I have to say in the beginning I would be excited to go, but mute once there. It was as if I wanted to have a conversation so bad that I couldn't say anything. As I started to go to more, I realized I had developed a feeling of comfort and could talk to people without second guessing. So, here are a few tips that might help with networking at a conference.
Usually this is the last statement made in socially supportive article, but I wanted to write this first because I think people want to alter who they are in order to develop confidence and talk to someone new. A person is their own brand. He or she should be proud of the brand they carry and project it to others, so that they get to know the true individual.
TURN FEAR INTO EXCITEMENT
Sometimes a person may not be themselves because they are scared of a negative response towards who they are. The trick here is that a person should acknowledge that he or she CANNOT please everyone and they people he or she does not connect with was not meant to be at that time or moment. Fear should be taken and evolved into excitement, which is probably how a person feels before they entered the conference.
TAKE IN EVERYTHING LITTLE BY LITTLE
Conferences can be as small as a a hotel lobby, depending on the type of hotel this is actually quite large, or as big as Disneyland (I have actually been to a conference at Disneyland). Either way, a person should take their time in traveling through the conference area. I recently went to Complexcon and I first canvassed the entire showroom floor, then I went to specific booths. I did this to understand my surroundings, as well as see who I wanted to talk to/take pictures of.
BRING YOUR TRADE
Bring your trade? Uhm... What I mean is, a person should bring the talents that he or she posses and be able to speak about it. A lot of conversations can be lost when a person asks, "So, what do you do?" The "uhms" and air silences chime in and the connection between two people slowly deteriorates. A person should be able to truly speak on who they are, what they do, and why they are there.
CARDS AREN'T DEAD
I get it. Mom and dad carry business cards because they do not know how to use their smartphones, right? But in actuality, a business card can make a connection last longer than a phone number or an IG. I say this because I have been asked the famous,"Can I have your card" and had to give them my information via social media or phone and I have not received a response. Just think, my number and Instagram is one of hundreds on a person's phone, but a business card is unique and will assist in jogging a person's memory when found. There are a number of reasons why I may not have been contacted back in a scenario such as that one, but a person should not set themselves up for that to be a reason he or she does not continue the connection they have made.
Well, those are my five tips on networking at a conference. Let me know your thoughts or tips as well and be sure to make a connection with me via Instagram.