Are you a Connector, a Maven, or a Salesman? (no gender bias intended)
Ok, you have booked for the conference, and decided what sessions you will attend, and, depending on your role, networking may or may not be a high priority.
So, what if it is? What if you are in sales, or in services, and you want to connect with people? Is the conference the right place to do it? Well, the organisers certainly think so, and so do the sponsors, as they invest heavily in setting up opportunities on each day for the delegates, speakers and exhibitors to mingle, get ‘lubricated’ with some nice wine or beer, and connect!
Does it work? How do you think organisations can measure the success of the networking, apart from quantifying specific leads? Well, I suppose that depends on how good a networker you are. Check out the diagram below, and decide if you are a Connector, a Maven, or a Salesman! (Courtesy Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”).
If you are a serious networker, (or a social butterfly), you can maximise the opportunities for networking, either at a conference, or anywhere that people gather for that matter. By making connections, sharing stories, and creating relationships that allow you to make contact in the future. Yes, I said anywhere, even the family barbeque. Who knows what John’s sister-in-law is doing at that big law firm in the city?
You don’t always have to come away with ‘hot prospects’ – just some warm fuzzy feelings about the people you met and whose company you enjoyed. It is quite easy then to either connect with them on sites such as LinkedIn, Naymz, Plaxo, Twitter, or depending on how comfortable with business/personal boundaries, Facebook. Connecting is what it is all about! Apart from business opportunities, it is very satisfying to meet new, interesting people, and expand your horizons in terms of the circles you move in. More and more we are connecting on line, but does that mean we will stop enjoying personal interaction? I don’t think so! I personally believe I am a Connector, and MACANTA’s business is built on strong relationships. MACANTA can help you connect too! Happy networking!
Breed Lewis is a Director at Macanta Consulting and can be contacted at email@example.com