How to Approach Conferences Strategically

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A successful conference experience isn’t just about sitting through speakers and attending workshops. It’s about finding strategic wasy to build a network that can move your business forward. Not sure where to start? Here are ways to help you make the right connections.

Focus your networking goal
Trying to exchange business cards with everyone will leave you overwhelmed. Instead, be strategic. “I set a goal of introducing myself to a set number of people,” says Heather Monahan, career expert and author of Confidence Creator. Identify and connect with two or three fellow attendees who can help you the most. But make sure you can be useful to them, too.

Add one speaker to your Rolodex
Take advantage of the expertise in the room. Connect with one conference speaker and arrange to meet for coffee at a later time.

Find a new tool
When engaging in discussions with conference attendees, pick their brains for resources that can fuel your success. Come away with at least one recommendation of a book or other resource such as a webinar that can enhance your skills.

Learn something you can put into practice
As you listen to speakers and interact with attendees, look out for at least one piece of knowledge that you didn’t have before. Then, think of a way you can take action based on that knowledge within one week.

Strengthen an old connection
Conferences aren’t just about meeting new people. They provide an opportunity to reconnect with those you’ve met in the past. Build on those relationships by sharing newly acquired knowledge with each other.

Add one  leisure activity
There is more to a conference than business. Whether you meet up with colleagues for drinks or take a tour of the conference city in your free time, engage in one activity that is strictly for fun.

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