Conferences provide excellent business opportunities if you know how to network effectively. At a conference with dozens or hundreds of people, it’s difficult to know where to start. Go in with the intention of making several meaningful connections instead of trying to meet every person or impress the big names. When you leave the conference, you’ll have a list of people with whom you can continue building strong business relationships.
Have concrete goals in mind. You can’t talk to everyone at a conference, so it’s a good idea to go in knowing what you want to get out of it. Do you hope to find an “in” that will eventually lead to a job offer? Do you want to garner more business for your company? Perhaps you simply want to meet people in your line of work and foster a deeper connection with others in your industry.
Your goals will influence which panels you attend and which people you seek to meet. Instead of just going with the flow, plan out your time so you’re utilizing each hour to work toward your goals.
Remember that you’ll be more successful if you’re open to other people’s pitches instead of just trying to push your own agenda on people. Getting to know people is a good goal in and of itself, since it leads to long-term relationships that just don’t happen if you’re tossing out as many business cards as possible without taking time to have real conversations.
Conferences | Networking | Professional Development
by Kyle Ewing | People Operations | October 1, 2017
It’s that time of year again! On October 4, more than 18,000 people will convene in Orlando for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. As the world’s largest gathering of women in tech, GHC can be an action-packed and incredibly rewarding experience. Over three days, there are hundreds of sessions, ranging from keynote addresses, to panels and presentations by industry leaders. Add in the largest career fair I’ve ever seen and conference-related social events, and it can be hard to know where to focus your time. But with the right approach, you can learn new skills, hear about trends in your field, and make lasting connections — both professionally and personally. Whether you’re a student off to your first big conference or a seasoned pro, here are some tips that fellow Googlers and I use to navigate events like GHC:
1. Make a plan.
Have a goal for what you would like to get out of the conference. Are you there to learn and gain knowledge? Want to make new networking connections? Is there a colleague or potential mentor who you want to support? Go through the agenda and devise a plan tailored to your goal. (Conference apps are great for this.) And have a backup plan in case that session you were dying to go to is jam-packed.
2. Divide and conquer.
If you’re attending with co-workers, try splitting up and then sharing notes. Regroup during meals or at the end of the day to share key learnings and takeaways. Read more…
Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”