You'll have less time to make plans once you touch down at the conference. In this video, learn how to confidently plan out who you are going to see, how you will connect, and what the purpose really is.
- The first time I went to an industry conference as an attendee alone, I had no plan. I put no forethought into it, didn't reach out to clients who were also going, barely glanced at the agenda, and ended up walking around anxious, lonely, and frustrated the whole time. Let me tell you, the quickest way to not stand out at a conference is to not bother formulating a plan first. One of the most valuable takeaways from any conference is the new relationships and contacts made through networking. Understanding how to network at a conference is all about going in with the right strategy before you hit the conference floor. You might have a variety of goals and objectives, and that's okay. What works really well is to formulate your strategy for planned connections by asking who, what, and how. I want you to visualize who the people are that you think you could benefit from connecting with and get as specific as you can. Is the goal to meet a lot of people? A specific person? Are you looking to set up a partnership of some sort for your company? Are you looking for clients? Are you primarily trying to learn from the speakers? Write down your target who list, then map out how you will connect with them. Email is great and LinkedIn messages are another good professional route. But also consider more creative alternatives like following the person on Twitter and sending a Tweet. Don't forget to access the event app if one's available. It's practically a given now that conferences have apps that provide a way for attendees to connect with each other. Don't scoff at this. It's super valuable and often houses the undercurrent of social activity of modern conferences. From there, consider what you want to offer or talk about with them. My go-to is asking them to connect for a coffee break or a one-to-one sync up. You can expand this by organizing a group for lunch or a happy hour. Pro-tip. Check out a few of the main event sponsors' social media pages and figure out who's putting inside events together. These are often open invites for attendees, so get yourself an RSVP and use that as a base point to ask your target connections if you'll see them there. It's a great way to scope out who's interested in which events so that you end up in the rooms with the people you want to be around. I guarantee there will not be a lot of time to stop and pause once you arrive at the event. So take some time before you go to consider who's attending, how you will connect with them, and what you'll do when you get some face time. Not only will this help you make deeper and more meaningful connections, but you will feel so much less stressed and a lot more productive. So get to work and map out that plan.
This course was created by Madecraft. We are pleased to host this training in our library.