3 Great Tips For Networking At A Conference
Networking at a professional conference can be intimidating, but it’s an invaluable tool when you’re trying to build a successful business. The worst thing you can do is be unprepared; doing so will not only be a waste of others’ time but yours as well. So if you have a big event in the near future circled on your calendar and you’re looking to successfully network, take a quick look at the tips below to help you get started.
Identify Specific Goals
Having and identifying specific goals before attending a conference will serve as a huge boon to your business. Vagueness is not your friend when you’re looking to network. That’s because a large, professional conference does not just serve as a space to meet people, but also as a forum in which you can search out people and businesses who help further your own professional needs. So before you shake a single hand, ask yourself a few questions, such as: What do I want to achieve? And how can this achievement best be supported by others?
Ask Lots of Questions
Now that you have a list of detailed goals, it’s finally time to meet and greet. To avoid dead-end conversations, be sure to ask as many questions as you can about projects and ideas that genuinely spark your interest. More specifically, ask questions that are open-ended instead of asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Ask about the who, where, when, and why. This is sure to yield more compelling answers as well as a more stimulating conversation.
Follow Up Afterward
After a conference, you might already be congratulating yourself on a job well done. But having specific goals and acting on them by asking open-ended questions is only half the battle. One of the most important networking tasks you’ll need to complete is following up with the people and projects you encountered at a conference. If you fail to follow up, you risk losing the momentum and support you need — which after all is the whole point of attending a professional conference in the first place. So don’t forget to pick up the phone or send out a few concise emails to new contacts in order to refresh their memory of the conversation and reiterate the goals you have in mind for mutual support.
For more information, reach out to professional organizations like The Bella Network.