How are you taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves for growth?
Before I go off to my first National SHRM conference, I wanted to share an experience that no one should have.
A while back I went to a conference, that shall remain nameless, where not one person came up to me all day and introduced themselves. I swear I took a shower that morning. I did not have any physical characteristics that might have scared anyone, although that shouldn’t make a difference either. This was so bewildering to me. It was, after all, an event to share ideas.
I really don’t believe that people do it with any negative attention, but I came to realize that perhaps you might benefit on some tried and true ways to, get out of your own way. Events like these are treasure chests full of new relationships and ideas that can benefit you, your team and your company. Conversely, sharing our resources and expertise with others is way to make the world a better place to be. I’m a member of the National Speakers Association that was built on the idea that instead of slicing the pie thinner and thinner, we should make the pie bigger. That is both refreshing and rewarding. You have no idea who or what is just a conversation away. It may be a new idea that will revolutionize your business, a new job opportunity, or your soul mate.
Here are my three top tips for getting more out of a conference:
- Introduce yourself to five new people a day. If you are an introvert or shy this may be difficult, but it will be worthwhile. To start, have a pre-determined question to ask, like, is this your first (insert name of conference), or what specifically are you looking for from this event? That will make it a lot easier for you to start a conversation.
- Don’t hang out every minute of every day with the people you work with. Split up for breakout sessions and at meals. The amount of information you will gather and be able to share with one another will be tenfold.
- Talk to vendors. You probably won’t need to ask them what products or services they have for sale, but you might ask them what problem they are trying to solve. The last time I did that, I ended up getting a job.
Conferences are a breeding ground for growth. Take advantage of the opportunities that abound.