If I told you there was a session you could attend at HR Tech Fest that would provide more answers to your business challenges than any other session, what would you guess?
The Keynote on How Mobile is Changing EVERYTHING?
The session on key HR Technology trends in the industry?
It’s actually the time between sessions. Shocking I know, but true.
Networking is about so much more than making new contacts: it’s a valuable opportunity to find solutions to your business problems, find out what other companies are doing and even generate business leads.
If you do it right, that is.
Here are some expert tips on how to get yourself in (and out) of effective networking conversations while at HR Tech Fest.
1. Pre-game warm up: Follow the conference’s social accounts and start networking right away. Start or join in a discussion or ask a question and see who responds. You’ll soon find who else is keen to share information and network.
Don’t forget to use the conference hashtag #HRTechFest.
2. Set-up networking opportunities during the session: Think of everyone you sit next to during a session as an opportunity to make a new contact. Make sure you get to the session early, find a seat next to someone you don’t know and strike up a conversation.
3. Avoid sitting down during the breaks: You may notice a distinct lack of chairs, this isn’t because we forgot to order them. We do this to maximise networking opportunities and encourage everyone to walk around and network.
4. Be present, be open: When you come out of a session your first instinct might be to reach for your phone. Fight the temptation! You’re going to make it hard for people to approach you not to mention impossible for you to spot your next networking opportunity.
5. Grab a coffee: Why not find someone you’d like to network with and see if they want to grab a coffee and use the time you’re waiting in line to start a conversation.
6. Maximise your networking during breaks: Aim to maximise networking during lunch breaks by eating lunch with one group and having a coffee or dessert with another.
7. Network with the speakers: After each session, the HR Tech Fest speakers generously give a little more of their time by gathering at the Innovation Hub. This is a really valuable opportunity to speak to the presenters one-on-one and ask them any questions you might have. Don’t forget to write down some questions during the presentation and have these ready to go.
8. Start a conversation: Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, there’s nothing to lose. Conferences are a natural networking environment so you’re not going to be out of place introducing yourself to a stranger and the humble conference name badge is the greatest tool you can use to start!
9. Break away from your colleagues: If you’ve come to the conference with colleagues, the safe option is to stay in your group and chat but you’re going to limit your networking opportunities if you do. If you see someone standing on their own, break away from your group and start a conversation with them.
10. Take notes: You will be having a lot of discussions with many different people and taking in lots of information during the sessions so your brain will probably struggle to keep up. Note down who you have spoken to, their company and what you talked about and any follow up actions – it would be a real shame if you wasted all that hard networking effort by forgetting who you’d talked to.