2 days, 75 inspiring speakers, multipel options, live stream on IDG:s website and most important of all; 1500 people gathered to connect, share experiences and knowledge.
This year I gonna take a different approach to my experience and angle in this post about #Webbdagarana. There will be several ones writing about the speakers and whats been said. Magnus Höij, conferenciere for Webbdagarna, lifted the importance of networking during the event which I can totally agree on – networking has been my driving force through my journey since I decided to change profession.
Long breakes makes its possible for anyone to meet anyone. If you feel that your not the mingle hero or heroes you wish your were don´t lose your heart.
Instead set up a small goal that will make you push yourself to connect with people. Don’t play it safe and only talk to people you know. By setting out to collect 5, 7 or why not 15 business cards during the event you have a visual goal to achieve and great people to meet. A tip is to take notes on the business card given to you about the topics that you talked about, how they looked and so on to make it easier for you to remember all the people you met.
The survivors; network,and the one who ”wins” by networking is the one that builds true relationships
Said by Stefan Hyttfors (@hyttfors) during the opening keynote
Connect, network and build relationships – here is 5 tips
Just think of what happened in the last 10 years, and remember that we’re only one third of the global population on earth that have broadband. Imagine the speed of progress when we all are connected.
I only spent half days at Webbdagarna because of work, but during that time I met many interesting people and even got a job offer. Unexpected things happens when you mingle. Also while mingling I asked around how and if the people I met did mingle. To my surprise only 3 out of all 16 people I asked took the opportunity while the others only hanged out with people they knew. I really hope that doesn’t reflect the majority.
1. Do research
Before the event do your homework. Know the program, know what talks or workshops you want to attend and check the attending list (if there is one). Navigate through it all and make a small plan to lean on and make up your way through the event while chatting and connecting to people and their input.
Do this a week or two before without stress so you can book potential meetings with awesome people. Take notes i your phone what you want to see, where the talks or workshops are located, who you want to meet so you have the perfect notes for the event.
2. Collect business cards
To people that have an inner resistance towards networking this is a great way to motivate yourself to actually meet people. If you set up a goal of x number of business cards for each day or the entire event to collect you won’t be able to relax before you have them. This will push you to meet people and maybe one day you’ll be comfortable with mingling.
A great trick that I mentioned earlier is to take notes on each card about what you talked to, the person, your feeling about the chat and so on. It helps a lot to connect later on. If you’re really on it see to it that you mail all of them within the week.
3. Don’t pressure yourself to do and see it all
In larger events lasting more then one day there’s often crazy amount of talks, workshops and more to attend to. In the beginning I went to it all. What I later discovered and also what I now do on every event is to miss out on a talk or two to hangout in the lounge. Here there’s often a discussion going on from the previous talk, people working or just hanging out.
Here you can sometimes encounter some of the speakers and get a word with them. This is also the perfect time to network since the atmosphere is much more relaxed and there won’t be anyone disturbing you all the time like during the coffee or lunch breakes.
4. Keep an eye on the digital channels
There’s always interesting discussions going on digitally. Follow the events hashtag to see whats going on. Both on Facebook and Twitter. This can also be a great way to locate interesting people to connect with by starting with a simple hello.
I use Tweetdeck to keep track of the conversations and channels on Twitter. It gives me a great overview.
5. Break your safety zone during lunch
Your colleagues will still be there tomorrow, your friends too. Try to connect to new people during lunch. It’s a relaxed way to get to know people.
Happy networking and don´t forget to check out the streamed talks on Webbdagarnas YouTube channel.