Many professionals spend time going to conferences, events, and social outings with their company to network and meet new and potential clients. Conferences and business events are a good place to network and meet people with similar interests as you, career goals, getting inspired, and meet potential business partners.
If you have a legal event or conference to attend soon, here is some advice to help you gain the most out of networking:
Look up and research the speakers and attendees, and network with them.
Give yourself some time to look up who will be attending the event. This will give you some insight of what to expect when attending, and possibly reach out to a speaker who is talking about a topic that is of interest to you.
Use social media to connect with the speakers.
You are competing with every other attendee for the speaker’s attention. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, or email as a way to introduce yourself beforehand, that way you can schedule a meeting with the person during your time at the event.
Don’t go to all the panels. Go hang out in the break room, lobby, trade show floor, etc.
Sometimes, fellow attendees can be of value too. Go where there is a snack area or coffee and mingle with people. Most conferences have built in time to network, but doing so during a time when there are less people gives you the potential to communicate more effectively in a smaller group.
Collect business cards.
Don’t go to an event or conference and throw your business card at anyone you meet with. Instead, collect business cards from people you connect the most with. Use that information to contact and find them on LinkedIn to network afterwards.
Ask meaningful questions.
Rather than sticking to, “Where are you from?” and “Where do you work?”, ask questions that can strike up a good conversation. For example, asking “What are you the most passionate about?” or “Are there any charities you are involved with or have an interest for?” makes you memorable, and it gives you a better understanding and connection to the person you are talking to.
Overall, when attending a social event or legal conference, make sure you have a goal in mind whether it is to mingle with attendees, connect with a speaker, or meet potential clients. Following these tips will help you get the most out of networking.
Check out our RMN events page to find legal conferences and events in your area.