I was at the Technology for Marketing (TFM&A) conference last week, and as well as a great selection of speakers and exhibitors at the show, I was hugely impressed by the opportunities to network with fellow attendees. In addition to general mingling, there was a networking bar as the hub of the show especially set up for people to network and grab a coffee, in addition to a speed networking section for those keen to ‘press the flesh’.
It’s certainly encouraging to see an event being run like this. Focusing on educating as well as connecting people. But what if your time is limited or the show organisers haven’t made the opportunity available?
During our practical networking programme we encourage you to contact the organisers before an event to get a list of those attending or perhaps an idea from their website. You’ve then got an opportunity to cross-reference this with your database or perhaps look them up on LinkedIn.
There are also some other powerful tools available that can greatly enhance your research:
Utilising the search function, you can look for people tweeting about the event or perhaps the location. Depending on the scale of the event there may also be an event specific hash tag, making your job of seeing who is attending and what they are talking about that much easier.
A virtual conference guide and listing service that details speakers and those planning on attending. This integrates with Twitter and so gives you an opportunity to read their bio, or follow their tweets. The service will also notify you of future events your connections are attending.
Takes the integration a step further by helping you create a cheat sheet for meeting the right people at a busy event. Along with a picture of the person, background info, list of friends in common. The service also gives you a selection of conversation starters based on the person’s interests.
I’m sure there are alternatives available and please do let me know your thoughts on these mentioned, or something you feel works better for you.
However well teched up you are and primed with information, when it comes to face to face networking, following our five golden rules of networking will help you implement your research for business development.
And for you event organisers: please, get your event listed on these apps, reply and retweet your event mentions on twitter to help your attendees get the most from the day.