Don’t fear: Everyone’s a little awkward at conferences. Inbound 2015 is around the corner, and attendees are rolling out their networking strategies. The event’s training sessions, conference add-ons and exhibitions will surely inspire attendees, and the connectivity possibilities are virtually limitless.
Understandably, you might need to brush up on your social skills. The world isn’t filled with networking gurus, and pretending to have confidence, in most situations, is as good as having confidence. If you grew on the wrong side of the networking age, and if you need an arsenal of quick, go-to connectivity tools, get ready. Below are the tools you need to thrive on the floor, in large groups and in the networks you seek:
Tip One: List Big Name Attendees
“Fake it until you make it” is still a viable technique for new entries needing to stand next to industry veterans. If you’re expected to know how to network—you’ll be expected to know people. ‘Networking’, itself, is a scary word. From here on out, replace it with ‘socializing’ to ease the process.
With over 500 Midwestern marketers, Inbound 2015 ensures total cohesion with those navigating the marketing landscape. Creating unbeatable brands, understandably, requires intensive industry knowledge, and social interaction spreads such knowledge further.
Connections are your endgame, and knowing the target before arrival can set you off on the right foot. Make a list of big-name attendees, and make a point to meet with them. In doing so, you’ll also generate connectivity points in the eyes of conference attendees. You’ll be a valuable asset to others seeking the same person.
Tip Two: Make Different Contact Groups
A basic comprehension of attendee grouping goes a long way. At the conference, everyone you’ll converse with can be sorted into different “subgroups” within a network. In most cases, social media websites will be great resources.
StatisticBrain’s study pertaining to social group interaction reveals an estimated 67 percent of social networkers accessing big sites, like Facebook and Twitter, to maintain current friendships. Similarly, 64 identify social network use with family member connections. Likely, your networking group already exists. You simply need to summon it.
Next, determine a personal group of five to six individuals capable of touching upon you and your career. Where networking is considered, not every contact is made in face-to-face situations. By extending eyes and ears through a well-made group, you’ll enhance your networking options immediately. Additionally, you’ll look like a successful networker out of the gate.
Tip Three: Make LinkedIn a Portfolio Priority
While Facebook and Twitter are beneficial to garnering a solid support team, LinkedIn stands above the rest where professional connections aren’t considered. LinkedIn offers much more in terms of specialized information, and it should be your go-to “digital portfolio”. Inbound 2015 is full of decision makers, prospective specialists and industry enthusiasts. Likely, they’ll scope out your LinkedIn profile.
One in three professionals are on LinkedIn, according to Sensiblemarketing.com’s statistic roundup. Additionally 41 percent of LinkedIn users access the site via mobile. Inbound 2015 attendees will be watching, so making yourself relevant on the site can greatly enhance your networking potential.
Tip Four: Visit a Wide Variety of Inbound 2015 Sessions
Once you’ve ascertained Inbound 2015’s general audience, it’ll be easy to mesh with the crowd. Each pro session will cater to a different audience, and each audience will overlap with your pre-existing network, creating new conenctions. Even if you’re new to networking, don’t worry. Use your known network, be friendly, visit a wide-ranging seminar collection and—above all—have fun.
Ryan Burkett is a senior partner and solutions delivery champion at Stratagon. Ryan shares passion in traditional, inbound, and digital marketing, but really gets his kicks building client experiences that never disappoint. Whether a envisioning a tradeshow or mobile tour, a targeted campaign or content-filled microsite, or even building customer strategy and business processes to help our clients deliver for their clients, Ryan delivers. Family man, F3nation member, and sportsfan. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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