May 12, 2016 By FTI Consulting
This post originally appeared on Microsoft BizSpark Australia.
There are a number of big technology events being held every year as CES January, Mobile World Congress in February and Microsoft Ignite in February. It can be somewhat daunting attending these events, especially when you are a small fish in the sea and most of the attention automatically goes to big and established players.
When deciding to attend, the first question you need to ask yourself is ‘How do I make the most out of this event?’ It can be intimidating at first, as networking is not about how many business cards you are able to quickly hand out, but rather how you can establish rapport and build a relationship that can lead to opportunities. The key is really to break the ice by making meaningful contacts with the people you want to get in front of, and that can eventually lead to a follow up discussion. Think about what you want to get out of the conference and the 3-5 people you really want to speak to.
Once at the conference, you should make it easy for people to understand what you do.
What you should focus on is developing an interactive booth, somewhere people feel compelled to step into. Some ideas include:
While there, make notes on the back of business cards you collected to help you with your follow-up. If you have an idea about how you might work with someone you met, or if you have an idea for how this person might be useful to you, write it down.
Fresh after the conference and while people remember you, schedule your next contact.
There are many ways to get ready for a conference, just remember to always do enough preparation beforehand, as being at a conference is about executing a plan rather than making it up there!