As I am sure you know, conferences are a great way to network with prospects. However, did you know that the best networking opportunities don’t necessarily take place within the conference sessions?
Before I get too far, yes, you still need to have a great elevator pitch, but there are also other ways to make the most from your conference experience, including going to the gym in the hotel. Yes, I am serious. Go to the gym!
Of course, you’re going to feel better if you get a workout in, but there’s a secondary benefit.
The people at the hotel gym in the morning, are the same conference attendees you want to connect with. As gym-goers, there’s also a strong sense of camaraderie among you.
Like you, these people are getting up extra early, and they’ve probably had a few drinks the night before, so there’s always a mutual sense of recognition in the smiles you exchange.
These simple acknowledgments with your fellow conference attendees are fantastic ways to spark conversations when you see them later that day at the conference.
Another thing to consider is that if you are attending a conference with your coworkers you should make sure to never eat together – since every meal is an essential opportunity to network with prospects and clients.
If possible, try to have multiple people in your conversations so that you can learn something new about several prospects and clients at once.
Lastly, make sure that you attend all pre and post-conference events.
People tend to be a little bit more comfortable over a glass of beer or wine, and this fact tends to spark different and often more enlightening conversations.
Use the tips above to help make stronger and more fruitful connections at your next conference.