I love to travel and speak at conferences. It is something I plan to do much more of in the coming months, in fact, I am speaking at an annual conference today. When I reflect on the growth of my business as a digital marketing consultant, I realize that I would not be where I am now without networking at conferences.
The following are 13 tips I have learned to meet great people and grow my network while attending conferences:
- Research who will be there. Does the event have an open RSVP? Is there a hashtag on Twitter you can follow?
- Try to set up meetings before the conference. Find the people and contact them before the conference.
- Promote that you are attending across social channels.
- Bring business cards. Don't be aggressive with trying to hand out and collect as many as you can.
- Carry a pen and take notes about the people that you meet. I take notes on the actual business cards as soon as I have a quiet moment.
- If you travel, be sure to bring the right accessories.
- Introduce yourself to others. Don't be shy. They are there to meet people too.
- Make eye contact with strangers and smile.
- Listen, don't just talk about yourself.
- You won't meet people in your hotel room. Spend down time at the hotel bar, restaurant, or in the lobby.
- Go easy on the booze.
- Bring mints and gum.
- After the event, be sure to email everyone you met. Invite them to join you on LinkedIn too.
Did I miss a tip? Add your tip in the comments please.