Some crowds are more equal than others!
Attending a huge tech conference like Collision 2023 can be an incredible opportunity to expand your professional network, learn from industry experts, and discover new opportunities.
With about 40,000 attendees, 200+ world-class speakers, and almost 800 investors from 130 countries, the Collision conference in Toronto from June 26-29 can be intimidating for many. Here are 10 valuable networking tips for you.
Plan ahead. Don’t wait till you get there
Before the conference, research the speakers, exhibitors, and attendees. Identify key individuals or companies you want to connect with and gather relevant information about their work. Having this background knowledge will help you engage in meaningful conversations and make a lasting impression.
Leverage social media
Leverage social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to connect with fellow attendees and start conversations before the event. Engage in relevant discussions, use conference hashtags, and join online communities. This pre-conference networking can lead to valuable in-person connections during the event.
Go beyond business cards
Effective networking is not just about exchanging business cards but about building relationships and creating mutually beneficial connections that last beyond the conference.
Having this in mind will help you network better.
Set clear networking goals
Define your networking goals before attending the conference. Are you looking for potential clients, job opportunities, partnerships, or industry insights? Having clear objectives will help you focus your efforts and make the most of your time at the event.
Prepare your elevator pitch
Craft a concise and compelling elevator pitch that highlights your expertise, accomplishments, and what you’re seeking. A well-prepared elevator pitch enables you to confidently introduce yourself and spark interest in others. Practice it until it becomes natural and engaging.
Participate actively in sessions, workshops, and panel discussions. Ask thoughtful questions, share insights, and contribute to the conversation. This not only helps you learn from industry leaders but also makes you more visible to other attendees who share similar interests.
Socialize and be curious
Make it a point to attend networking events, cocktail parties, and social gatherings organized during the conference. These informal settings provide an excellent opportunity to meet new people in a relaxed atmosphere. Approach others with genuine curiosity, listen attentively, and engage in meaningful conversations.
Be a Connector
Networking is not just about what you can gain but also what you can offer. Act as a connector by introducing people who share common interests or can benefit from each other’s expertise. This generous approach demonstrates your value as a resource and helps you build a strong network.
Follow up after the Conference
Don’t let the networking momentum fade once the conference concludes. Follow up with the contacts you made, whether it’s a quick email, a LinkedIn connection, or a personalized message. Express your appreciation for their time and insights, and explore potential collaboration or further conversation.
Maintain and nurture relationships
Networking is an ongoing process, and building relationships takes time and effort. Stay in touch with your connections by sharing relevant industry news, inviting them to relevant events, or simply checking in periodically. Nurture these relationships to create a strong and supportive professional network.