Attending a business conference can present a tremendous opportunity for you to meet new people in your industry and successfully network. However, if you’re not normally an outgoing person, you may need some tips on the best way to network. By following a few suggestions, even the most timid professional can have a fun and productive time at their next business conference.
Volunteer at the conference
Even before the day of the conference, there are things you can do to help yourself make the most of the experience. For instance, you might consider volunteering in some way. By contacting the event organizer and volunteering to act as a presenter or greeter, for instance, you can stand out among the other attendees. This will help you meet the other guests.
Additionally, this is the time to reach out to past business acquaintances. If you know they’re going to the conference, use this opportunity to reconnect. They may be interested in meeting for coffee or drinks.
Once the conference begins, there’s much to do, starting with the orientation. Even if this isn’t your first conference, it’s a good idea to attend the orientation, because it will help you manage your time more wisely. You won’t be able to attend every session, so it will be important to pick and choose the lectures that most interest you. Don’t forget to schedule in some breaks or you may stretch yourself too thin.
Talk to speakers
While you may be eager to learn, taking notes on every lecture you attend, don’t forget that networking is just as important. If you’re unsure where to get started, begin with the guest speakers. These individuals were chosen for their knowledge and expertise, so don’t be afraid to approach them. Mingle with the other guests, too. You may come across some conversations that will let you express your own expertise. By engaging in various conversations, you’ll meet more people and others will remember you at the next conference.
Even after the conference has ended, there are still ways you can continue benefiting from the event. Reach out to the new contacts you made at the conference. Send them an email, connect on a social networking site, or give them a call. This can help you develop new business relationships.
Share with coworkers
You can also share the experience with co-workers who didn’t get to attend. Show them your notes and share your photos. This may convince them to attend the next event, or they may come to you with challenges that the conference prepared you to handle. Either way, using your new knowledge will help your organization and show management the value of a business conference.