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Tips On How to Effectively Network at a Conference

b2match

Jan 23, 20236 min read

Entering into a room full of strangers for the first time may be scary, and networking at conferences is no different. Engaging with other attendees doesn't always come naturally, even if it isn't your first conference. But networking with potential business partners is one of the most crucial activities for advancing one's career and exchanging knowledge.

In a perfect scenario, the event organizers know how to encourage networking at their conferences. But are there any ways to further develop your networking skills? Don't worry! We compiled a list of some of the best tips to help you network at your next conference like a pro.

1. Create an attractive participant profile

Making a good first impression and mingling with other attendees and businesses is the first step in effective networking. One great networking feature most event networking platforms offer is a customizable participant profile where you can add valuable information before the conference starts.

With the b2match event networking software, you can include a picture and a brief introduction bio. Answer questions about your experience, education, and other info you see relevant. You can even upload your resume or any other required documents.

Spending a little more time on your profile is essential. It is advisable to be as detailed as possible in your profile because the b2match's AI event matchmaking feature employs high-tech algorithms to analyze vast quantities of data and recommend interesting participant profiles to each attendee. This AI-powered networking software may significantly speed up and increase your networking success.

2. Stay organized

Your agenda gives you a clear overview of the sessions you want to attend, the people you should meet, and the outcomes you hope to achieve. Assess this early on so you don't miss the most valuable meetings.

Since you can’t meet everyone and attend every meeting at a conference, avoid stacking activities because you might miss the chance to talk to or listen to an intriguing person. The secret to a successful conference is scheduling beforehand.

On the b2match b2b matchmaking platform, you can easily fill your networking schedule with workshops and meetings tailored to your event goals using the agenda. Afterward, you can print or download your PDF agenda to your phone straight away. Agendas can provide a list of all meetings and sessions along with details on the time, place, and attendees.

3. Prepare some conversation starters

Prepare several conversation starters you could use in different situations before you depart for the event (or even while you're traveling). While some conferences call for a more formal tone, others are more laid back.

But if you're uncertain, try one of these tried-and-true conversation starters:

• “Where are you from?” • “So, what do you do?” • “How long have you been with your company?” • “Where were you before joining your company?” • “Are there other conferences you are looking forward to attending this year?” • “What are you hoping to get out of this conference?”

4. Improve your elevator pitch

What is equally as important as prepping conversation starters? Planning your personal pitch. Consider the information you want people to know about you and what might spark their interest regarding the circumstances of the event you're attending. If you're networking at an academic conference, you should want to have a short summary ready about your field of study and why you're there.

If you're networking at a conference with a mix of scholars, business people, and exhibitors, prepare a variety of pitches for the different types of participants you'll meet. Try keeping it to 30 seconds or less, though. This is something you should be able to explain while waiting in line for coffee.

5. Use the power of social media

Whenever you attend a conference, it is always a good idea to tweet or post about it. Make uplifting remarks about the session, session topic, panels, and the conference in general by tagging people you've met or hope to meet. Always include the conference #hashtag.

If your event has a social wall, check it out and leave comments on other people's posts to connect with people. You never know when someone might reply or express an interest in meeting.

6. Network on the conference app

One of the best networking features in today’s event networking technology is that you can access relevant information anytime, anywhere via a mobile app.

The b2match mobile event networking app provides access to the full event and your personal agenda, a clear overview of sessions and meetings with time and location details, and easy session management with one-tap login and logout.

The app creates a complete attendee list with AI-powered profile recommendations to give an overview of all participants and hints on who is online.

With the integrated messaging feature, you can network and engage in meaningful relationships while on the go. To make scheduling smoother, you might include a message to your meeting requests. You can still keep in touch with participants through the event mobile app, even after the conference ends, to further develop your relationship.

7. Stay at the same hotel

This tip may be beneficial since we are slowly returning to the traditional in-person and hybrid event model. By booking a room at the same hotel, you are not limited to meeting people only at the conference. You might run into someone important in hallways, the hotel lobby, or at the gym.

If you plan to attend a virtual conference, the best route to take is to check the event website in advance and gather as much information as possible. Before the big event, navigate the platform and become familiar with it to prevent any difficulties. That allows you to be at ease and concentrate on the event and networking instead of stressing about how to use the platform.

8. Exchange business cards

Business cards are an established and dependable weapon in the toolbox of networking advice, and it will be a while before they become outdated. Put some thought into yours and ensure you print enough cards for the entire event. Giving out business cards also gives the impression that you're serious and assured in your approach.

Include basic information, such as your name, company, and email. Consider including a photo and your social media accounts to make it easier for people to remember you and stay in touch.

9. Understand when to get out of the meeting

No matter how hard you try, some conversations at these conferences can be dry and unproductive. Instead of wasting time, it is better to take a short break. Because of this, understanding how to leave these conversations is necessary.

Naturally, you want to do it courteously to avoid sounding rude or pretentious. Excuse yourself and tell the other person you will return to them later.

10. Follow up with your new contacts

Growing and sustaining your network takes time and effort; it isn't a one-and-done kind of thing. To ensure that the people you networked with remember you, follow up within a day of meeting them.

Contacting the people you met at the conference indicates your commitment and true interest in learning more about their company and industry. You can even write them a thank-you message to express your appreciation for their time.

Whether it comes to corporate, academic, or even hobbyist events and conferences, networking is what decides the success of the event. Establishing new, genuine relationships is what helps us grow in the long run.

Hopefully, you will find a use of these tips for successful networking at your next in-person, hybrid or virtual conference.


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