This summer is filled with nonstop social, political, and employment-related activities.
These events are ideal for those looking for a new job, new business deal, or new professional relationship to nurture.
Here in Boston there will be a steady stream of family reunions, weddings, conferences and conventions all summer long. The Urban League Conference kicks off on July 25th with the State of Black Boston with CNN anchor, Soledad O’Brien headlining the luncheon. Blacks in Government bring their National Training Conference to Boston in August where many of the nation’s top federal, state and municipal professionals will gather for food, refresher courses, and fellowship.
You can read all about these meetings by clicking HERE.
Both meetings were favorably represented in a recently published Associated Press article. Click HERE to read more.
But that’s just Boston. Go to any major city on the planet and there is a meeting taking place, speakers like me presenting their messages, and companies on full display with their goods and services. There are church conventions in Orlando (Young People’s Division & Women’s Missionary Society Quadrennial), speaker conventions in California (National Speakers Association National Convention) and business conferences in London (Global Economic Business and Finance Research Conference). Take your pick. There’s a meeting, social event, or conference taking place every day of the year somewhere in the world.
The big question is how prepared are YOU to take full advantage of your next meeting, conference, convention, or family reunion.?
Here are 10 Ways To Successfully Network at the Next Summer Event coming your way.
1. Take your business cards everywhere you go. You can even start a new professional relationship with someone at a funeral this summer with your business cards. (Don’t laugh, I’ve done it!)
2. After exchanging business cards and before reaching home, write a note on the card reminding you where you met the person, the date of the event and what follow up is needed. (For my Asian friends, writing direcly on the card is a no-no. So write your notes elsewhere and keep them close to yours cards.)
3. Create a business card file using a three ring binder and plastic business cards sleeves you buy at your office super store. Create a system of categorizing the cards and file accordingly.
4. FOLLOW UP in a few days or weeks with those whose business cards you’ve collected.
5. If you’re attending a conference or convention, post pictures, video clips, audio clips and journal entries on your website or social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
6. Before following up with your new contacts preview their biographical profile at Linkedin.com. You don’t have to belong to Linkedin to preview someone’s profile, and you might find out you have more in common with that VIP whose card you now have (same school, worked for the same company, etc.).
7. Send out HANDWRITTEN notes re-introducing yourself and thanking the person for meeting you at X event.
8. Set up a regular phone schedule to connect with your new contacts. Remember that some of your contacts are very very busy and might take 3-6 tries to get them on the phone. Ask for a 15 minute phone meeting at their convenience.
9. Be careful with sending gifts to your contacts. With government staff, gifts are frowned upon and often now allowed. I know of at least one multinational company that will not allow its employees to receive gifts. Instead send the handwritten note and a photo of the two of you at X event.
10. Speaking of photos, take your camera EVERYWHERE. Your smart phone, camera, a small pocket camera or a flip video camera will work. Send your photos and video clips to your new contact. If appropriate post them on your webpage or Facebook.
(That is exactly what I did when I met Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts recently. Click HERE to see those photos.)
Enjoy Networking All Summer Long!
Your Comments and Networking Suggestions are Welcome.
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.