How to Network at a Conference

A few posts ago I introduced I’m at a Networking Event — Now What??? Let me continue this thought and point you to a post by Thom Singer, who presented at SXSW, with a handout titled Ten Tips For Networking At A Multi-Day Conference – SXSW 2010.

Thom’s 10 networking tips are great… here are the three that jumped out at me:

3. Do not focus on meeting the celebrity speakers. (Read what Thom has to say about it)  SO TRUE.  They aren’t there for you.  They’ll put on their shiny smile and shake your hand like a politician but it really isn’t about you, especially if there is a line of 20+ people waiting to shake their hand.  Don’t waste your time there, go meet others who were at the presentation.

5. Ask questions of people you meet. SO TRUE.  This actually comes out of How to Win Friends and Influence People… and many other networking books.  People want to talk about THEM, and it’s actually quite easy when you first meet someone to not talk about yourself and drive the discussion around them. Your time will come!

6. Put your technology away. TOTALLY.  If you are buried in the laptop of phone you are definitely saying “talk to me later” or “just tweet me,” not “hi, my name is ____ and I would love to chat.”  You can pick up your email when you get out of the conference… take advantage of the time!

Go check out the entire article to see all of his points (there are actually 11, not 10).

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