Every conference has networking events and spending a few hours in a full room of people whom you’ve never met isn’t something that typically brings excitement. As unnerving these events can be, it’s important to make business connections. Here are four tips to help alleviate the awkwardness at the upcoming SupplySide West show (two of those being the First-Time AttendeeReception and the Vitamin Angels Topgolf Opening Night Reception).
#1 Ask Questions & Make Common Ground (Fast)
A good opening question to a small is inquiring how a small how they think the event is going thus far. From there, start asking them questions to get them talking about themselves (where do you work? What do you do?, etc.). People generally enjoy answering about themselves. The goal is to find something in common to allow the conversation to flow (for example, finding where the two of could help each other).
#2 Phone Your Phone Down and Keep It Hidden
These days, being on your phone has become a clutch to keep occupied in situations where you have nothing to do (example: waiting for your companion to get back from the restroom at a restaurant, and networking events). However, this is far from the activity you want to engage in during a networking event. Being on your phone indicates that you are busy and not open for conversation which deters people from approaching you. Do yourself a favor and put your phone in your bag or pocket and keep it there for the event.
#3 Know When to Move On
It would be easy to find common ground with the first person you meet and want to stick to that person for the remainder of the event. However, the goal of these events is to meet multiple people. Make a connection, exchange contact information, and move on.
#4 Do Pre-Show Research
If you don’t know anyone attending the event and would feel more comfortable scheduling meetings beforehand, you can. Follow the event on social media through its page, through hasgtags, blog posts from company’s attendees, LinkedIn postings, etc. Engage with those and make social conversations with people attending and create a common ground beforeyou arrive at the show. This will allow you to make warm introductions rather than cold introductions.
All of these tips can be used during SupplySide West in Vegas. Building on tip #4, I’ll be at the show and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you discuss recruiting needs that your company is currently in need of. My contact information is:
Schedule time to meet with me during SupplySide West 2018
815.261.4403 x 100
LinkedIn: Chris Hillman