Conferences can be a hectic time for you; there are probably several people you want to meet, several panels you want to attend, and of course the keynote – and if you don’t plan, you may get overwhelmed and miss important opportunities for yourself. For the most part, the crowd at a bio conference is going to include faces you don’t know, so you need to prepare beforehand to ensure you meet the right people to further your professional career. You could just show up and try to show yourself as a professional, meeting and greeting with as many people as you can, but without proper planning, you won’t get the most out of your bio conference.
Trying to Meet the Right People
When trying to meet the right people, you need to first know what kind of people you need to meet to further your professional development, and you need to know who is going to be in attendance at the bio conference. You can contact the host of the conference and ask for a list of notable attendees for the bio conference so that you can research them on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn; this will allow you to find out their professional interests so you will have talking points when introducing yourself. Many conferences also now provide platforms to set up 1-on-1 meetings with attendees prior to going to the event. Finding attendees that have common interests will give you a focus on who to meet with.
Filling out Your Roster
In everybody’s professional career, they often have certain contacts that fill out some sort of role in their professional life. These can include roles such as a mentor, a consultant, an investor, an author, or many other roles. Find out who you are missing in your roster of helpful roles, and try to make it a goal of the conference to find someone of that role and make a solid connection with them.
While most communication is through digital means now, nothing still beats the simplicity of handing out a professional business card when making contacts at a bio conference. Most people will still often ask for one, so you should be prepared for that.
Be Prepared to Converse
When you meet new people at a bio conference you need to be ready for the inevitable conversation. Firstly, forgetting a name or information from your first talk with someone can cause struggles later on, so be sure that, once you finish a conversation, you jot down their name and some tidbits about them. You may end up mostly talking shop, but if you want to make a more personal connection, you need to be prepared with safe topics on hand, and maybe even an order you want to bring them up in. An excellent conversation with a colleague can leave a great impression.
Practice Your Basics
When it comes to networking at a bio conference, practicing your basic information will free up your mind to focus on details about those you are talking to. Plan out how you will introduce yourself and what you specifically do, and have answers to basic questions already planned, such as answering the question, “what have you been up to lately?” with full of details about your work and brand.
Face-to-face communication is important when networking at conferences, but when combined with social media platforms, you can accelerate the solidification of connections to further your professional career and business relationships. So take your new-found knowledge from these tips and develop your networking skills and enjoy a very successful bio conference.
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