The Right (And Wrong) Ways To Network At Any Conference

Jimmy Woodard

I recently attended the fantastic Startup Grind SoCal Conference. There were great speakers, awesome people that I met from all walks of life, and just a fantastic vibe to the whole event. Oh yeah, and there were terrible networking sins being committed left and right. I want to highlight these “sins” for you, because I’m sure you don’t even realize that you’ve probably committed a few of them in the past. Let’s begin.

Sin #1: Following a speaker right after his or her session has ended.

This is by far the worst sin of them all, and it’s easy to see what your goal is. You want to make an impression on the speaker by introducing yourself and telling that person all about your company.

Here’s the problem: There are 51 other people who have the exact same intention. Truth be told, when you step back it looks like a pack of vultures (that includes you) circling a dead carcass (the speaker). It’s quite comical.

But I feel bad for both you and the speaker. Why? I feel bad for you because the speaker is not going to remember you from the 51 other people. Without fail, that speaker will tell you to email him or her, email their assistant, or email someone else on their team (and I can almost guarantee no one will get back to you).

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