ASBO Matters News Journal - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 20)

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Net)work That Conference 15 Proven Tips to Help You Make Career-Enhancing Connections at Your Next Conference L 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 * 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 conference: 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 beforehand. "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
Association News
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