You've left stacks of work
behind to attend a national convention. But taking notes from dawn to dusk isn't
enough to make it worth your while. Put down that pencil and start shaking hands,
talking to people around you and networking.
What is Networking?
Networking is a reciprocal
process in which you share ideas, leads, information, advice, brainstorming,
laughter . . . and sometimes tickets to a ball game.
The best networkers have
savvy, common sense. It's not a work style, it's a lifestyle. Some of
the best networkers don't even know they're networking. They're just out there
sharing ideas, sharing themselves.
Who are the Power People?
The most powerful people
aren't necessarily those with the biggest titles but rather those with the biggest
Rolodex files. Our power comes when we can pick up the phone and make
things happen for people.
It's important to plan ahead
by practicing a nine-second self-introduction and reading newspapers and trade
journals. When you discover that you have something in common with another person,
it becomes a totally different conversation and connection.
Decide, "What am I going
there for?" Plan your route. For ninety percent of conferences, you can buy
the tapes and sit by yourself and listen. What's the point of attending? To
meet and connect with other like-minded people.
Even if you're satisfied
with your current position, nobody's job is etched in stone. Having a network
can be your safety net.
If you want to join a group's
conversation, stand on the periphery. When someone nods your way, move in and
introduce yourself. But, don't change the conversation to suit your agenda.
Make contacts, make friends.
Go to have a good time!
More Timely Tips:
- Initiate conversation
with attendees on the event venue (location, food, entertainment), sponsor,
workshops, trade booths, seminars or speakers.
- Treat spouses with
grace, interest and respect (yours and theirs).
- Have a meeting plan,
whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee.
- Overindulge in liquor
at meals, hospitality suites or after hours.
- Presume the hospitality
party is purely a social event.
- Forget to follow up and
And you will connect, converse
and create a network of colleagues, clients, co-workers and friends!