(Photo courtesy of Foster.ly)
This post is sponsored by Foster.ly, the organizers of Collaborate.
It’s here. This week’s Collaborate, the two-day conference on innovation in entrepreneurship, government and technology, is the kind of event worthy of strategy. Good thing we have one for you.
You have your business cards and your networking attire ready, but are you really ready to take on this event from entrepreneurship networking community Foster.ly? First, make sure you have your tickets. Fortunately, we have a discount code for Technical.ly DC readers.
Use “TLYSPONSOR” and get 20 percent off the $299 general access or $449 all-access registration.
Next, take our tips on how to get the most from the event:
- Find your specific lesson. After each session, focus everything you hear to the one idea that impacted you the most. This isn’t necessarily the topic of the discussion, just something that has some real bearing on your work. I often write this on an index card and keep it with any presentation materials.
- Ditch your friends. If you’re attending with coworkers, split up. Midday and at the end of the event, share your index card takeaways so you get the most of all the sessions.
- The hallways are your friends. Many of the greatest moments at conferences occur outside of the agenda. Make use of serendipity to find future collaborators.
- Put yourself in one breath. Practice introducing yourself in one sentence. You’re going to meet a whole bunch of people, so give them a shorthand for you, especially if your particular field is highly technical or not widely understood. Being “UX guy” is way better than being “bathroom line guy.”
- Put your business cards in two piles. Pile one is for immediate followup for something specific. Right after you meet these Pile 1-ers, swap cards and write your follow-up action on the back of theirs. For example, “introduce to bear trainer,” or “ask about sponsorship.” The second pile is for folks whom you might want to know for later. Write the conference and date on the back of their cards so you have some context. A third optional pile might be used for origami.
TL;DR: Arrive with goals, like topics to learn or people to meet, and then be open to wherever the conference might take you, be it to a career-altering session or to late-night oysters at Old Ebbitt with new friends.
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