What do we all want from virtual conferences? Better networking and more of it! Below are the options for this year’s annual meeting – get these in your calendar!
Here are a few tips for successful networking:
- Relax! Networking is really nothing more than meeting and talking to people. They are probably just as nervous as you are. What can you ask or say to make the other person feel more at ease?
- Have a plan! Get clear on what talents, strengths, skill sets, and other contacts you can share. Think about what you want to talk about, perhaps how you can help someone else, either now or in the future.
- Stop talking! Yes, share some things about yourself –– but let the other person speak too. You’ll most likely want to be prepared to talk about where you work, what the organization does, and what you do there. An amusing workplace anecdote can be fun and memorable – just do a quick check to make sure it is acceptable to the audience.
- Listen! Focus on the person you are talking to and make it a rule to listen more than you talk. Just imagine what you could learn!
- These are people, not connections. Think about each interaction as an opportunity for mutual benefit. Maybe not right away, but you never know what the future will hold!
- Keep in touch! After the event, follow up with a nice note letting them know you enjoyed meeting them (if you didn’t, maybe just don’t follow up).
- Forget your personal agenda! Sometimes it is helpful to introduce two of your new contacts to each other if you see some potential synergy. Be generous and be remembered.
- Never dismiss anyone as being unimportant. This goes right along with “don’t judge a book by its cover”. You never know what treasures you will find if you keep an open mind.
- Be positive! In other words, don’t be negative. Negative comments will reflect poorly on you, not on the person or organization you are speaking about. If you have something negative to say, keep it to yourself.
- Have a few killer conversation starters memorized? There’s a great list of them that you can borrow from. Pick 3 or 4 and use one of them if you can’t think of anything else to open up the conversation.
All times US Eastern.
Informal Networking with Attendees
Join us in the Remo platform to network with other attendees through video and text chat. In Remo, there are “tables” that make for small group conversations. Click on an empty “chair” to join a table. If the table is full, choose a different one! Hover on the initials “bubble” to see who is where.
May 24, 2021 9:30 AM – 10:15 AM
May 25, 2021 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM | 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
May 26, 2021 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
May 27, 2021 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM | 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Structured Networking Sessions
Guided networking sessions provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with one another, discuss shared interests, and meet new people. A variety of session options are available in the meeting platform. Look for topics or groups of interest!
May 24, 2021 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
May 25, 2021 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
May 26, 2021 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
May 27, 2021 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
Small Group Discussion/Networking
Back to Remo! Choose from a predetermined topic or join an open table and start your own discussion.
May 24, 2021 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
May 25, 2021 3:00 AM – 5:00 AM | 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
May 26, 2021 3:00 AM – 5:00 AM | 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
May 27, 2021 3:00 AM – 5:00 AM | 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
News contribution by SSP member, Heather Kotula. Heather is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Access Innovations, Inc.