My friend Sanja is a fabulous networker. She is my go- to person about what's up in our city. She is connected and knows what is going on and best of all is prepared to help others by facilitating contact and connection.
I thought I would draw from her experience to help people get the most from a conference networking experience. When I am a motivational keynote speaker at conferences I often find people sit with people they know and are comfortable with instead of venturing out and learning from the diverse weath of experience in the room.
Here are some things I have learned from Sanja that I think would help others get the most from networking at a conference:
Be prepared to meet a lot of people; bring business cards and decide in advance how you will follow up with people, LinkedIn, FaceBook,Twitter, Email?
Networking Wizard Sanja says the key to her success is to be prepared to help others.
Networking is a two way interaction...with every contact you make, think:
How can I help this person?
- Introduce them to someone else (they may benefit from meeting)
- Share best practices learned this year
- Recommend a product or supplier
- Tell them about something going on in there area
- Ask them to attend a session with you and debrief together afterwards
When I am a motivational keynote speaker at a conference I sometimes do some networking activities to facilitate meeting others. Remembering details about someone like family members or significant accomplishments can be a great way to reintroduce them and make them feel important later on.
See our blog post... How to get the most out of a conference