1. Preparation is key. Look at the lineup beforehand and see if there’s anyone you want to meet. Personally what brought me to the brilliant event Build Your Empire in 2017 was looking at the lineup.
Having followed her online for a while, I was really keen to meet AmandaRuiz http://www.amandaruiz.co.uk ( Amanda was one of our speakers from October 2017) I even changed my schedule specially to make it along to meet her. I found out what time she was speaking and made sure I had a front row seat - which brings me to
2 Get there early- and be prepared for some time afterwards. Sit up front and ask questions if you want to get the most value out of seminars. The speakers have spent a lot of time pulling together their presentations and they are experts in their field - they’ll often be willing to sign people up to their programmes and help you with that part of your business.
3 Bringing business cards is so obvious it’s not really a rule but do make sure that you keep them within easy reach. No fumbling if possible - and keep your hands free for a firm handshake.
4 Be social - get sharing - @mention people that you’re meeting. Take a selfie - tweet your best takeaway from the seminar you’ve attended and don’t forget the hashtag - this makes you an integral part of the event and easy to find afterwards.
5 If you’re feeling shy, make a friend: An introduction “Hi, I'm heading over for coffee now and would love some company.” Or on approaching an exhibitor ”Wow, this looks interesting, tell me about it.” This gives you the opportunity to relax into what they’re saying before working out how what you do is relevant to them.
6 Now it may be that you won’t want to talk to everyone. To politely extricate yourself from a conversation try something like "Annabel, it’s been great chatting but I need to catch up with a few other people. Have a good one.”
7 Follow up! Schedule some time at the end of the day to go through the people you’ve met and take a note of your next actions and make sure that they are priorities for the next three days following the conference. there is absolutely no point in going to an event, missing vital time from your work and not getting in contact afterwards.
Bonus - Derek Halpern has a great tip for getting chatting - which does actually work really well. - the three magic words he’s referring to are perhaps a little bit American but I’m sure you’ll all put your Herts’n’Essex charm to work and get this tip working for you.
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Have a great event.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Olivia Vandyk is a communications strategist and TedX speaker. Find out more at http://www.ginghamcloud.com/