How to Network at Large Conferences

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Marketing Blog for a Mini Break

Well if you have seen any of my social media posts, you know that I am heading to San Diego this weekend for one of the largest social media conferences of the year! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to be going to Social Media Examiner's 2013 Social Media Marketing World Conference where 1,000 marketers from all over the world will gather to learn and network. Some of my favorite marketing authors like Chris Brogan, John Jantsch, and Derek Halpern, will all be speaking and sharing their insight in various social media topics.

Take a look at the video below to see what I will be up to for the next few days.

Conference Networking Tips

Since I will be away learning from the Social Media Guru's I thought this would be a good time to give some networking tips for attending large events. Whether you are at a trade conference or a large chamber event, these tips will help make the most of your time.

1. Put the Sales Tactics Away

When networking, many people tend to seek big names and those they feel they will be able to make a sale with. Networking can help with your sales, but people are not stupid and can tell when you are not being genuine. Focus on building relationships with people, even those you may not see a huge connection with for you never know where it could lead or who they may know that you can help. It is your job to add value to people you network with and by focusing on relationship building will take you there.

2. Branch Out of Your Comfort Zone

At any networking event there is a tendency to lean towards sticking to people you know or have bonded with at the start of the event. Be sure to push yourself to meet new people and not get stuck in a clique. You are there to build relationships yes, but step out and meet new people or let new people into the small group of people you do know. If you are not going to step out and meet new people, then what is the point of attending large networking events or conferences?

3. Have Your Elevator Speech Ready

When meeting new people the #1 question you will be asked is, "So what do you do?" At networking events you are trying to meet and mingle with many people in a small amount of time, which is why you need to have an answer to this question. Make sure your answer is:

  • Straight and to the point.
  • Gives intrigue to entice the person to ask you more questions.
  • Shows the person what value you give people (benefit) and not just tactics (features) you use to do you job. Such as if you are a photographer, don't just say you specialize in wedding photography, but describe the value. Another way you could say it would be that you give your clients the joy and nostalgia of the happiest days of their lives through capturing their precious moments.

Let me know how these strategies work at your next networking events and those that you use as well. I know that I will be a busy beaver these next few days. Since I will be out of town I will not be blogging for the next 4 days, but the Speakeasy blog will be up and running next week. I am sure I will have lots to share about the latest and greatest in social media.

See you all next week!

I may not be able to take you out for that drink, but I am here to help get your marketing on the right track. If you are business owner that feels like they are struggling in today’s digital marketing, then look no further. We are here to help you be able to get back to what you do best and we can handle the rest.

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