Networking is the most desirable value anyone may get from the conference or any other startup event. Knowledge that speakers share in presentatons may be easily accessed online, unlike their business cards 😉
Here are 5 tips on how to make your networking with speakers more effective.
1. Connect with your targets on social media
Do this before the event. During the conference, social media will be on fire. Your LinkedIn invites and Twitter follows will get lost among other notifications. Use LinkedIn and Twitter as they are most used for proffesional purposes. Avoid sending friend requests on Facebook before meeting in person.
2. Attend speaches of people you want to meet and brag about it online
Say thanks for an awesome speech on Twitter or post a pic with some quote on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to tag the speaker! It will be appreciated and, what is more important, remembered. Reffering to the speach in face to face conversation works well as an icebreaker.
3. Schedule the meeting
It doesn’t have to be 1h meeting or lunch. Ping the people you want to meet in social media and ask for a short chat or a coffee. You don’t need more that 15 minutes to set a connection. If you get more time, you are lucky. Use it wisely and have subjects prepared. Never approach speakers just after the speech. Public speaking is stressful and tiring. Long queue of attendees to chat is not what speakers are looking for when leaving the stage.
4. Approach with direct questions
It is very flattering to hear “I wanted to meet you sooooo much!” when someone approahes you at the conference. However, the ego boost will be the only outcome you get. Always be ready to answer “How may I help you?” question. At the end of the conversation, ask if you may contact your target later for some feedback or advice on the subject you just discussed. This should trigger business cards exchange and nicely finish the meeting.
5. Follow up just after the event
You wil be one of 3746949486763408 people approaching the speakers. Increase your chance of being remembered by sending a follow up message after the event (max 2 days after). This will also be the first step of building long term relation… which will have to be maintained. But this will be a subject of another article.
Good luck and let us know how it worked! 🙂