We’ve talked extensively on Zen about how to make the most out of conference attendance and networking. But with the ILN’s European Regional Conference coming up next week, it’s at the forefront of my mind! Before we jump in, I’d like to point out that I think the word “networking” can get a bit of a bad rap. But in my mind, it’s really exchangeable with “business development.” While it doesn’t represent the entire sphere of activities that business development can encompass, when you’re effectively networking, you’re engaging in activities that can bring you more business, either now or in the future. So it’s worth investing your time and energy in.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer you five easy tips for conference networking that you can implement at your next event! 
Continue Reading Five Easy Tips to Network Like a Boss

photo-1457213453084-d386450c6252Next week, I’m heading to Tokyo for our Asia Pacific Regional Conference, and the following week, I’ll be off to Austin for the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting (and yes, I’m running my half-marathon in between those two, in a city that is not my home). Because of this, I’ve got conference networking on the brain. Much of what I want to say about conference networking I’ve already said here at Zen, so instead of rehashing it, I want to round-up some of my favorite posts and advice for networking at conferences right here for you. I’m also throwing in a couple of posts related to general networking, and adding in how you can apply the advice to conferences:

Networking Hacks from Undergrads

The two tips in here are to embrace Facebook (really, social media in general) and that business cards are back. In terms of social media, you want to be using this before, during and after a conference – before the conference, use the tips suggested in the post to find and connect to the speakers and attendees at the event that you’d like to meet, and set up networking opportunities. While things can happen organically, wouldn’t you rather make sure that you didn’t leave them up to fate? During the conference, do the same. When you  meet someone, or see a speaker that you like, add them to your LinkedIn connections with a personalized note reminding them of your connection or complimenting them about something that they said. After the conference, add anyone that you missed and arrange to follow up with them where appropriate. Ensure that you have plenty of business cards with you, that they’re up to date with your current information, and are memorable – people were clamoring for my unique cards at the recent awards ceremony I went to in London, even though they were already members of a competing network.
Continue Reading The Value of Conference Networking

Ahhhhhhh!!My mom hates the word “sucks,” but I’m using it in my title for effect – “what, Lindsay thinks networking sucks?”

Sure, sometimes. And I’m sure everyone else does too. Who doesn’t get fed up with all of the things we’re “supposed” to be doing every once in a while?

We go to events, and we’re supposed to be flashing a bright smile, asking about other people, handing out business cards, never missing a meeting or a meal – it’s exhausting. And you can get burned out.

Fast Company had a post on this by Lisa Evans last January, prime time for networking burnout, she says.

But I’d argue that the fall is just as easy to see burnout as any other time of the year. Everyone is back from their holidays, school is ramping up for the kids, work has gotten busy again for the rest of us with new projects, clients back in the office, and more demands on our time. Yes, we may start out the month of September feeling fresh and with the best intentions to network our hearts out, but who really wants to fit that into their busy schedule as well? 
Continue Reading Networking SUCKS. Now what?

I’m back with another Two for Tuesday, and today’s post focuses on how you can use social media to make the most out of attending conferences and events. We all attend events throughout the year, whether it’s a networking cocktail party or a CLE seminar or a multi-day conference. And social media can actually help