ASBO Matters News Journal - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 20)
(Net)work That Conference
15 Proven Tips to Help You Make Career-Enhancing Connections at Your Next Conference
ove them or loathe them, conferences
are an established fixture in most industries. You may think that if you're not
presenting a poster, giving a talk, sitting
on a panel, or actively on the job market,
it's OK to be a passive participant-or decline
to attend altogether.
Not so, says Alaina G. Levine, president of
Quantum Success Solutions. Attending important conferences in your field should be an
essential element of your career strategy
because each of these gatherings represents a
golden opportunity to network-that is, to build
mutually beneficial partnerships with others.
"Conferences provide singular opportunities
to access and learn from decision-makers, appropriately promote yourself and your brand, and
discover opportunities that can lead to employment, awards, and other game-changing career
experiences," says Levine, author of Networking
for Nerds: Find, Access and Land Hidden GameChanging Career Opportunities Everywhere. "I like
to refer to conferences as 'networking nodes'
because they aggregate people of related disciplines or industries in one location, which makes
networking extremely efficient."
But what if you're more comfortable taking
your drink and hiding behind a potted plant
than circulating and chatting at conference mixers? What if you'd rather run a 5k in your dress
shoes than approach an industry leader out
of the blue? Whether you consider yourself an
introvert, socially awkward, or just a networking newbie, fear not. In Networking for Nerds,
Levine offers concrete insight and step-by-step
20 * www.naylornetwork.com/asbo
instructions to help even the maost hesitant
connector craft professional networks that
are mutually beneficial and that support the
advancement of career goals. Here, she shares
15 tips to help you make the most of your next
Don't wing it. If you simply show up at a conference and participate in whatever events catch
your fancy, you're likely to miss the best networking opportunities. Before attending the conference, familiarize yourself with its program. That
doesn't mean perusing it on the airplane to the
meeting city. Instead, Levine advises you to start
reading the program about a month in advance,
if possible. Then start creating your schedule.
"Set aside time to attend not just talks
and seminars, but also special events such as
town halls, career events, meet and greets,
and other networking-centered affairs," she
recommends. "And don't forget to pencil in
time to walk the exhibit hall, poster farm, and
any other special attractions."
Take advantage of the conference app.
If the conference you're attending has an app,
download it. These apps are often full of hidden treasures. "For example, some apps list all
attendees and their contact information, and
allow you to send messages within the system,"
Levine shares. "Others allow you to tweet and
follow other social media sites directly from the
app itself. Apps might also announce newly
added events and activities, and can even give
you insight into transportation options to get to
and from the convention center. Take advantage
of these, because traveling with other conference
attendees is (you guessed it!) also a great chance
to meet and network with new people."
Make appointments ahead of time... If you
know you'd like to meet with fellow attendees,
request appointments with them at least two
to three weeks before the conference. They are
busy too, so it's wise to get on their calendars
"If you'd like to connect with someone you've
never met before, the conference itself serves as
a reason to make cold calls, which is especially
great for introverts," points out Levine. "And
even if the person you want to meet is not on
the program (i.e., she isn't speaking or presenting a poster), it's OK to reach out to her, ask if she
will be attending, and, if so, whether her schedule would allow a meeting."
...and keep them short. When making plans
to meet with others, ask for short appointments,
such as a coffee meeting. The other person may
not have time for a lunch or dinner, but he can
probably squeeze in 15 minutes over a cup of joe.
"Just be sure to leave yourself a buffer of time
between your own appointments, no matter
how short they are," Levine cautions. "You need
time to digest what each encounter offers and
to physically move to the next location. And you
also want to have windows in your schedule just
in case something special comes up, such as seeing Dr. God walking down the hall by herself."
Leverage the exhibit hall. Don't just wander around aimlessly looking for free pens and
cup holders. Instead, try to learn new things and
make connections that will serve you well long
after those free pens have run dry.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASBO Matters News Journal - Spring/Summer 2016
From the President
Executive Director’s Message
Budgeting Wisely How Do You Manage What You Don’t Measure?
Financial Management Managed Print Services Help PCCPS “do More With Less”
Supplier Partnerships Benefiting From a Supplier Partnership
Risk Management Balancing the Burden of Risk Management and Compliance
Innovative Classrooms Bel Air High School Opens New Aquaponics Lab
Interactive Data Schools Can Achieve Budget Transparency Online
School Environments Keeping Eyes on the Ball(s) — Creating Healthy Indoor School Environments
Professional Development (Net)work That Conference: 15 Proven Tips to Help You
Index of Advertisers
ASBO Matters News Journal - Spring/Summer 2016