Back in 2012, I did a talk for a Chamber of Commerce Women’s group. Before the event, I received a LinkedIn invite from someone who would be attending. I loved that! I remembered her name and sought her out to connect with her – in the middle of the talk! I highlighted her action as an example of what to do.
You can check out that moment about a minute into this excerpt from the talk.
At the NSA convention, I was reminded of that technique, along with another one that I share in this installment of Convention Connections.
At every event, I always have a list of people I want to meet — and this time I was so excited to be able to check networking guru Patti DeNucci off that list. Patti and I had connected before the convention via LinkedIn and made plans so we could meet up and talk in person at the NSA Conference. Patti has a long list of people too, and we had a quick discussion about the fact that there’s just not enough time to connect with everyone.
So how do you meet as many people as possible on your list, and what do you do when you weren’t able to connect with everyone?
First, reach out to the people you want to meet! Connect via LinkedIn, make a plan, and then follow-up before the event to confirm your meeting day and time.
Second, accept that sometimes all the planning in the world won’t guarantee a meet-up. When this happens, use it as an opportunity, not a defeat! Send a quick email after the networking event letting them know that you missed seeing them, but would love to schedule a phone call so you can still connect.
Meeting influencers on your list is really as simple as reaching out before and after, and knowing that there are still ways to connect outside of conference meetings means you can be fully present during conversations, rather than rushing off to find the next person.