As we enter a summer of conferences, I thought I would give you a little rundown of some easy to follow tips to make this event seem a bit smaller and make meeting people a bit more easy!

The 5 Best Tricks to Network at Conference:

1) Sport your Brand

Whether it is a skin for your IPad, a snazzy branded T-Shirt or a simple hat with your logo, it is very important for you as an attendee to wear your brand. This will cause a positive chain reaction: a) people will ask me a ‘Oh hey, what does Addvocate do?’ or b) if they already have heard of our company they will inquire more. Sporting your brand is the easiest way to gather attention.

2) Situate Yourself in the Spotlight

Regardless if I am sitting in a session, a keynote, or even at a table taking a quick coffee break, it is best to sit smack-dab in the middle. This will allow you to have a buddy on either side to spark conversation with. And the best part is you already have something to talk about as you are doing the same thing, such as: “I am excited to hear … speak today, are you?” or “Wow, this conference has been great, what have you thought?” The conversation will simply flow.

3) Introductions are Key

We understand, it is hard to spark conversations with session or keynote speakers, but there are two ways around this obstacle: a) Speak up and ask your questions during the Q&A forum. Introduce yourself and the company you represent. You may think people aren’t listening but they are. b) Spend that extra five minutes post session to walk up to the front of the room and shake hands with the speaker and let him/her know that you enjoyed the session. This is a personal friendly touch that you could potentially reference later.

4) Tweet up a storm

Hashtags are the money ticket at conferences. Following along what the other attendees are following makes it simple and impossible not to connect, engage and spark conversations.  Getting to “know” or “friend” someone online makes for that in-person meeting to be casual and breezy.

5) Walk the Expo with your Eyes Open

Don’t fear the loud commotion that is the hustling bustling Expo Floor.  I know most people have this idea that they will be bombarded by loud-mouthed marketers if they begin this journey walking the floor, but that is just a poor stigma. Most people will respect you if you don’t want to hear their pitch, so we suggest making a list of all the booths you would like to visit so you can keep your time focused.

So there you have it! Addvocate’s suggestions on the best way to engage with conference attendees and speakers! I have met some very fascinating people at events such as Dreamforce, SocialFresh & TechCrunch Disrupt that I continue to stay in touch with today or have done future business with.  And I look forward to making new relationships at upcoming events and sessions.  Conferences make meeting people easy and natural, so follow these simple steps and grow your professional network today!

Do you have other suggestions for engaging with people at conferences?