Sometimes life gets in the way of things we want to do. Case in point – I’m supposed to be at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference in Florida right now, but I am home in New York City.
Work is very busy, and I recently moved and need to finish clearing out my old apartment and unpacking my new one.
Despite the fact that I’m not there in person, I had planned on using these networking tips, which I hope help you while you’re conferencing.
- Of course, you should be extending the relationship with people you meet at the conference via LinkedIn (you knew I was going to say that, right?). Some of my strongest relationships have been ones that I made at a single conference because we kept in touch via social media afterwards. Take business cards and use your LinkedIn QR code as the home screen of your smartphone to easily connect with people.
- Exit conversations gracefully. Sometimes less is more. Also, listen more than you talk. And please put down your phone – acting disinerested will likely turn off your connections.
- Don’t only stick with people you know. It’s great to rekindle those relationships and to catch up with industry colleagues, but also make sure that you are meeting new people and also meeting service providers in the exhibit hall to learn about new services and technologies.
- Try to immerse yourself in the conference. That means not checking your phone constantly and not doing work that you don’t need to do. Delegate important tasks or turn to them during breaks. Your work will still be waiting for you after the conference is over, I promise.
- If you are presenting, don’t read your slides word for word (or put too much copy on your slides). Bring your points to life with stories and examples. Use visuals to illustrate your points.
- And my favorite tip of all is to do a social media post about your favorite sessions. Bonus points if you take a picture of yourself with the speakers. Write a synopsis of those sessions and you have an easy way to build your visibility and relationships on LinkedIn. Here are more tips to consider on how to do this.
Going to conferences and professional networking events is important because building relationships can lead to new jobs, professional opportunities and so much more – so maximize every second you have while you’re at a conference.
Here are some additional conference networking tips.
Which one of these will you try? I’m already looking forward to next year.
Sign up here if you want to see the presentation I was supposed to give at LMA – I will be offering a free webinar on it next month!