A conference can be a great way to learn more about your industry and improve your skills, but it can also be an opportunity to network and improve your business relationships. At the conference there will be many people who work within your niche and who are connected to your industry. They can offer you valuable insight, helpful wisdom and important connections that will help you to get ahead.
However, you’ll miss out on all of these connections if you are not ready to network. How can you make the most of a conference and network effectively during this time? Here are some valuable tips that will help you to network effectively at your next conference, such as an event at a great venue like Carden Park in Cheshire:
- Listen carefully to what people are saying so that you can find out whether or not you have some common ground. People will respond better to you when they feel like you are listening to them and care about them.
- Don’t expect every conversation to be one that benefits your business. Building connections can take some time and patience.
- Make sure to bring some professional looking business cards that you can give to people whom you meet.
- Not sure how to introduce yourself at a conference? Here are some ideas that will help you break the ice.
- Find out in advance who will be attending the conference so that you can plan who you would like to talk to and connect with and what you want to talk to them about. Take a little time to look at their website and research their background so that you have a starting point when talking to them.
- Take advantage of any parties and cocktail hours that take place during the conference. This is when people might be in a more relaxed mood, so the conversation will be more natural and less stiff.
- Make sure that your body language is confident. Stand up straight, make eye contact and have a firm handshake, which will make a very good impression on people. Nod and smile throughout the conversation to reassure people that you are listening.
- Try not to spend too much time on your email or social media. It is rude to check your phone during conversations with others and it will make people think that you are not interested in them.
- Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask certain presenters. Try to catch them at a good time and ask them if they wouldn’t mind sparing 5-10 minutes to answer a couple of questions for you.
- When you get business cards from people you want to connect with, don’t wait too long to send them an email or they might forget about their conversation with you. Try to connect with them as soon as possible and follow up on what you discussed.
- While you are at the conference, Tweet or post on social media about your experiences there and tag people who you have met. Make positive comments about the conference and the panels you attend, which will make the people you tag likely to follow you back.
- If someone you are networking with asks you for help and information and you can give it, make sure to do so. This will create a great impression and that good karma will come back to you.
- Don’t be shy! Everyone secretly feels a little awkward inside, but don’t worry too much about what other people think about you. Go ahead and introduce yourself to someone and take the risk!
- If the conference has an app, make use of this to keep track of the conference schedule and stay connected while you are on the go.
The most important tip of all is to enjoy the networking experience and not make it all about business. A conference at one of the many great Cheshire conference venues can be a great opportunity to get to know interesting people who are passionate about your niche, which can be a lot of fun. Make the most of the situation by enjoying it and making real, honest connections and you will get a lot out of the conference.