You’re attending an industry conference. What should you expect?
If you’re a frequent conference attendee, you may already have your own list of trials, errors, and ways to make the most of your experience (if so, we’d love to hear your stories and tips in the comments). If not, don’t fret. We’ve collected a list of conference and networking tips from a variety of our CSG team members that should help you do it right.
“First impressions are lasting impressions. Practice your introduction, smile, be confident, and keep it real. Your positive energy and authenticity will be more memorable than your words.” – Ernest Jones, Talent Acquisition Specialist
“Talk to people you don’t already know. These things are all about networking, so make it a point to sit next to people you haven’t met before.” – Jason DeGroff, Vice President of Operations
“Build strong relationships. Get to know the short-term and long-term goals of the people you’re networking with, while also getting to know them on a personal level. You never know what you’ll have in common!” – Sarah Keiser, Talent Acquisition Specialist
“Use moderation in all ways. Whether it be in conversational details, drinks, your introduction pitch, etc., less can always be more in these situations.” – Cassie Hauser, Talent Acquisition Specialist
“Insert yourself into a conversation that has already started. Many people attend conferences in groups or have colleagues that they already know going in. Break out from your group and insert yourself into another cohort that isn’t your own. Although this can be awkward at first, it can maximize your networking experience because you are meeting several people in one interaction and diversifying your experience.” – Maryssa Kuchta, Talent Acquisition Specialist
“Take value away from every interaction you have. There are a ton of people that attend these conferences. Go out of your way to introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Each person could be your next peer, boss, etc. Listen to what the other person is saying and be engaged. Don’t just shake a hand and walk away; learn something new about that person.” – Justin Filipowski, Business Development Manager
“Wear comfortable shoes. You’re likely to be walking throughout the day and standing around speaking with people. Not to mention if a session is full and there aren’t any seats left…looks like you’ll be standing!” – Jessica Hymes, Talent Acquisition Specialist
It’s one thing to leave with a stack of business cards and notes, but it’s another to walk away with new and meaningful connections to industry professionals and peers. Keep these tips in the back of your mind during each interaction and conference event, and you’ll be sure to have a great experience.
If you need more coaching before heading to your next industry conference, reach out to a CSG professional today!