A conference is a busy place, and networking opportunities are what makes the experience of attending one so worth it. However, meeting so many new people can also be overwhelming, especially if not wholly prepared.
When we’re networking in the fast lane, it can be hard to make meaningful connections and ensure that people remember you. What’s more, it can also be hard for you to remember most details about them! To help you network more effectively, here are five ways to capture the attention of everyone you meet at a conference:
1) Have a Purpose for Attending
Not all conference attendees are there with a defined purpose. Of course, most of them want to listen and learn, if nothing else — but you can get so much more out of a conference if you step up your game. And if you ensure that your purpose also gives you an excellent way to break the ice and learn something about the people you’re connecting with, you will stand out from the crowd. It will ensure they’ll remember you.
2) Approach People to Create Content
Creating content while you’re attending the conference is one of the ways to give yourself a mission that will require interaction. The best part is that you can be creative with it: conduct a survey, take photos, interview other attendees. Find a way to make your material applicable and useful to your industry, and that might open the way to new contacts.
3) Be a Valuable Contact
Meaningful networking can’t happen without an exchange of values and ideas, or at least a promise of it in the future. If you want to ensure you’re the person to contact for everyone you meet, start by listening well and remembering the details of the conversation.
You are trying to remember all the details while at a conference. It might be easier said than done; unless you have the help of a great tool. Contact Mapping app allows you to easily record new contacts and the most important things you’ve learned about them right after a conversation. It will be a valuable ally in your efforts to improve your networking skills.
4) Focus on Them
You won’t get very far in a conference setting if all you do is talk and worry about yourself. Once you shift your focus to other people and try to make them feel more comfortable around you, you’ll notice that you can establish positive rapport more often. Other than natural conversationalists, not many people get this right, but it’s a skill that you can learn.
5) Ask Relevant Questions
Whether it’s during a session Q&A segment or in conversation with a group of other people, it’s a good idea to ask questions whose answers will help other people as well. Usually, those questions are relatively simple, and their basic level ensures that others can chime in. If you have any issues where answers would help you, it’s better to save them for a one-on-one conversation with the speaker after the session.
Networking effectively at a conference can mean the difference between leaving with information versus leaving with a lot of opportunity. Making sure you capture the attention of everyone you meet can be a challenge. But like any other challenge, you can overcome this one with practice, preparation, and useful tools. If you want to try out the Contact Mapping app, join free for a month and experience all its benefits yourself.