During our LEAP START!™ keynote at your 2017 SCMA National Conference we will be sharing the best tactical and practical tips to network more effectively at the conference (and when you get back to the office). But, before you arrive we wanted to provide you with some helpful tips to prep for the conference to maximize your networking time.
– Gayle Hallgren-Rezac & Judy Thomson, co-authors of Work the Pond!
SET YOUR NETWORKING GOALS NOW: What do you want to achieve at this conference? Any specific contacts you want to make? Are there speakers from the new Tales from the Table who you want to meet? Are there suppliers at the Sponsor Showcase to visit? Go online now and review the SCMA conference info to set your networking goals.
BUSINESS CARDS ARE STILL ESSENTIAL: While you can ask people for their information electronically, a business card provides people with a visual reminder of you, your organization and is an extension of your brand. Are your cards in need of an update? Are you using all the real estate – the front and the back of the card? Do you have your LinkedIn information on your card? Most importantly, bring enough cards. Our motto: You can never have too many cards, only too few.
ORGANIZE TO MEET UP BEFOREHAND: Are there individuals you are hoping to connect or reconnect with? Perhaps someone you met at another SCMA event or someone you have emailed but have never met in person. Send an email now and see if they will be attending and then meet up!
GET A SOCIAL HEAD START: Start following SCMA tweets now. Use #SCMA2017. Also, follow the Twitter feeds of the speakers or sponsors at this event like us @ShepaLearning. Tweet and retweet to ‘introduce’ yourself virtually.
POLISH YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE: When you meet people at this year’s conference, they’ll probably look at your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your headshot photo is a recent one so people will recognize you. If your profile needs work, now is the time to update it. Join the SCMA LinkedIn group. There are almost 9,300 members.
AIRTIME ON AIRPLANES: If you are flying to Winnipeg, do a little inflight networking. Say “hi” to your seat mate when you first sit down. Respect the fact that they many want to work, sleep or read, but ask this simple question to start the conversation, “Are you headed to Winnipeg for work or is it your home.” Who knows, you might both be going to the SCMA conference. Or if they live in Winnipeg perhaps they can recommend some sights to see, restaurants, etc.
SLEEP WHEN YOU GET HOME: The pre-conference seminars, the evening at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and the wine and cheese reception are great ways to meet people in relaxed situations. Be “all in” because you can sleep when you get home.
MORE NETWORKING TIPS: We offer short (under 200 word) networking tips every week. It’s an easy sign up and these networking tips may come in handy at the conference.
Look forward to seeing you at the SCMA National Conference! – Gayle and Judy