Networking at a conference can be a valuable opportunity to connect with others in your industry, learn new ideas and make lasting connections. Here are five ways to network effectively at a conference:
Wear branded items Live your brand is the best advice. You will stand out -- especially, if you design your own pieces. This is great for when someone compliments you and you get to be your own plug. If you don't design your own pieces: wear your brand colors, wear what your brand looks like and feels like.
Dress to the nines Number two and number one go hand-in-hand. Dress to the nines does not mean designer. It means show up for yourself and your brand. If your brand is high fashion, do not wear leggings and t-shirt to networking events. If your brand is athletic wear, show up wearing a matching set that includes a cute pair of matching earrings. Dress to the nines means dress for the best representation of your brand.
Get out of your comfort If people are approaching you; then you don't have to worry about coming to them. This is why dressing to impress is so important. If you need a little of encouragement to talk to people, start with a compliment. "I love your shirt. Where did you get it?" Ask questions and listen to reply. Give them the floor to speak + allow to get to know them. The conversations will flow from there and you don't have to worry about 'leading'.
Get all the socials & them message them Connect! The entire point to go to a networking event or conference is to connect with at least ONE person. Once you get their social media, the next 48 hours is cruicial. Make sure to message them and just say how great it was to meet them! This is where your key to offering value comes into play. Use this as time to connect and a way to brainstorm how to work together.
Offer a coffee date on you to the speakers & those you truly enjoy Coffee is affordable and everyone loves it (or tea). Offering coffee instead of drinks keeps it more business friendly, budget friendly and we never know why someone may not drink. Speakers dedicate their time to providing free valuable information to you. Most of the time speakers are at these events on a volunteer basis. How amazing is that? They are willing to give you their knowledge for free. That sounds worth a $7 oat milk latte to us! Plus, this allows you even more insight, connection and such a great quality thank you!
PRO TIP: Attend the welcome parties, the themed events, the meet&greets and the after party!
Networking at a conference is an important opportunity to connect with others in your industry, new industries, learn new tools and make great connections.