5 Tips on Networking at BlogHer '13 and Other Offline Events
By Sandy Jones-Kaminski on May 30, 2013
Whether you're attending BlogHer '13 in Chicago this year or not, it's good to be mindful of my 5 networking tips for cultivating connections and growing your network this year:
1) Don't take networking too seriously. It can and should be fun. Connect with the intention of helping others rather than simply expecting to find the elusive perfect sponsor or new client. Relax, take the pressure off yourself and focus on what you can bring to the party or offer in the form of contacts, knowledge or resources.
2) Improve your outlook and your fortune will change. If you have a negative outlook on networking, you're probably sabotaging your chances at connecting with the "right" people. Put all the negative or disappointing encounters from the past behind you and focus on "what's possible." As Vince Lombardi said, "It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up."
3) Take a proactive approach and introduce yourself to others while in a line, waiting for a session to start or when you spot someone else standing alone. Be sure to resist the urge to hide behind a electronic device! You eventually have to meet people to know if you'll really connect with them, and the more people you meet, the more likely you are to find the "right" people for you.
4) Keep the alcohol consumption to a minimum if you're at an event where it's being served. Being relaxed is good, but having your buzz on and then acting inappropriately is not a good way to be memorable at any event.
5) Be sincere, open and follow through on your commitments. Remember, authenticity leaves a lasting impression, and even if you don't find a way to assist each other immediately, you never know when someone you just met might introduce you to a key new contact down the road.
P.S. I'll be speaking at the Newbie Breakfast at BlogHer '13 this year and love teaching others how to connect and grow their networks while making the most of their time at networking events and conferences. If you're curious, my book, "I'm at a Networking Event--Now What???" was the #1 pick on the 2010 Inc.com Business Book Wish List and I speak nationally on the topics of networking, personal branding and social networking tools like LinkedIn.
Please feel free to contact me or comment here with any pre-BlogHer '13 questions you might have!
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