INBOUND Networking Dos and Don'ts

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We've gathered networking tips from real HubSpotters to help you make the most out of your time at INBOUND 14.

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INBOUND Networking Dos and Don'ts

  1. IMPACT BRANDING & DESIGN: VA‘V
  2. ®PAcT branding 8: design
  3. With INBOUND 2014 right around the corner, we've collected some must—read networking advice from the team behind the conference. Here's what they came up with. ..
  4. EXCHANGE CONTACT INFORMATION
  5. "Do this with a purpose. I like to have Evernote open on my phone &jot down a keyword or two from the people whose cards I collect. It could be what we talked about. where they were from. or the session we sat in together. It helps me remember them once the conference is over, and personalize my Linkedln request or 'nice to meet you" tweet. "
  6. ASK QUESTIONS
  7. "Some people can be uncomfortable talking about themselves. out of fear it comes off as self—centered or bragging. (Trust me on this —- I'm one of those people. ) But when someone asks a question. it gives a green light to offer up some information without feeling like you're boring the listener. Plus. you benefit by learning more about your conversation partner . . which makes it way easier to identify mutual interests and carry on an interesting conversation. "
  8. "One of my favorite parts of conferences is being able to meet new people. ask questions. and learn something new. Just because you are not in a session. doesn't mean you don't have the opportunity to learn from the people you meet. Don't be afraid to be curious and ask questions. " arrr‘ . .._; . . »-ta . - V. . II I 1.‘ L I I I | . , . ‘I. ‘-3 mi 31 ¢«. i‘“t
  9. "Last year, I spent a week in the Silicon Valley meeting with business professionals at various tech companies. but I was merely one person in a group of 15. So. I asked every professional to answer the same question in a Vine video. I then collected all of the Vine responses from everyone I met and compiled them into a piece to share with the group group after the week—long event. It was a great way to stand out among the crowd and stay connected. "
  10. "Ask questions that matter At conferences. you're usually in a time-crunch and so is everyone else. Try to be in the moment with whomever you meet and go above and beyond the generic questions. Ask people about their passions, what makes them feel fulfilled in their current role (or in hobbies). and even what they're looking to gain while being at Inbound. Genuine and meaningful questions will develop meaningful relationships "
  11. HAVE A PLAN
  12. 'X/ alking unprepared into a networking event is a rookie mistake. It's like showing up to a costume party without getting the "wear a costume" memo. I recommend reviewing why it is you're going to the networking event. what you want to get out of it, and who you need to talk to in order for this to happen. If you internalize this along with a quick elevator pitch of what you're looking to communicate, you'll be golden. Also. don't forget the business cards. You need to make sure you have a stack of 'em. "
  13. ‘There's a reason work is part of the word networking. Networking events may be disguised as social gatherings. but to get the most out of them. you should attend with a purpose. whether that be for business development. sales. co-marketing. or job hunting. etc. ‘
  14. MAKE GREAT EYE CONTACT
  15. "You are at a conference to network with others, don't shy away in a corner. Make eye—contact with people. and start conversations with as many people as you can. Who knows how you might be able to work with them in the future. " "5" "ve“"
  16. MAKE A GRACEFUL EXIT
  17. "People can tell when you're itching to escape —— and after putting in the time to have the conversation in the first place. you don't want to leave on a bad note. A great way to gracefully exit the conversation is to introduce the person you're talking with to someone else at the event and then excuse yourself. Just wait for a moment in the first conversation that could transition naturally into the second (e. g. a common interest orjob). then offer to introduce the first person to the second person to talk about that commonality. Not only have you removed yourself from the situation, but you've also helped two other people get to know each other. X/ in—win. '
  18. FOLLOX/ UP
  19. "Set aside time after every event or conference to follow through with everyone you talked to. even if it's a quick tweet or email. In our industry, you're really likely to see these people again, either at INBOUND 2015 or at another marketing conference. so add value wherever you can. "
  20. VALUE YOUR TIME
  21. "People spend a lot of energy waiting in line to ask a quick question of a speaker. I think your time is better invested networking with other attendees at the session about what you saw and heard. and then crafting an awesome blog post on the session to share with the speaker later on. potentially including quotes from the folks youjust mingled with after the session—— you build a conversation that lasts a lot longer than a rushed question the speaker may or may not answer. plus you get a great piece of content out of it. "
  22. BE FRIENDLY
  23. "Random acts of kindness are my favorite ways to meet new people and have fun doing it. Grabbing a water bottle for yourself? Grab two and then go find a stranger who looks wilted Toss a few extra—large bandaids in your bag and spend five minutes looking for a footsore fellow traveler. Carry an extra charger — or even better, a whole power strip - and you'll be amazed at how popular you'll be. "
  24. PULL PEOPLE IN FROM THE OUTSKIRTS
  25. "inevitably networking events evolve into series of small group conversations and a collection of "free radicals" bouncing around trying to break into any of them. If you're in one of those conversations. great. but for those who get closed out it's a little like missing the last stool in musical chairs. So why not be a networking savior. keep an eye out for people lingering just outside of your conversations and create opportunities to welcome them in. More voices deepen a conversation and you'll make a memorable impression for the good deed. "
  26. CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION
  27. "Take good notes. Publish your notes on your blog. After the conference. everyone is looking to continue the conversation. Publishing an article with your take—aways will turn your blog into the after- party. "
  28. ' I IN“ "I BE SHY
  29. "Introduce yourself to a HubSpotter! We look forward to INBOUND all year as a chance to talk with our customers and partners. Don't be shy about giving us feedback — good or bad Transparency is a huge part of our culture. and we always say that feedback is the breakfast of champions! "
  30. 'I In‘ USE YOUR PHONE AS A SECURITY BLANKET
  31. "X/ e all do it. When we're uncomfortable it can be easy to divert your attention to your mobile phone - perhaps to check your Twitter stream or discover a sudden appreciation for a full inbox. But burying your glance in a tiny device is a clear sign to others not to approach and could leave you missing out on some good conversations and important interactions. "
  32. JUMP TO A SALES PITCH
  33. "Don't set out to tell everyone about you and your elevator pitch. Set out to listen to everyone's goals and pains and figure out who you can help. "
  34. "Want to force lots of people to start "looking for their friend who they came with but might be over there"? Start trying to sell them cold turkey. Not literally of course. itsjust a saying. It's important to realize that people have networking goals (similar to your own) that might not necessarily be to buy whatever you're selling There's a time and place to sell your products or services, but a networking event isn't really one of them. Sell your personality so they remember you and want to keep in touch. That's much more valuable at this stage of the relationship. "
  35. DRINK TOO MUCH
  36. "If you're old enough to be at a networking event. you're too old to be getting hammered at a networking event. In other words: No one should be getting hammered at networking events. If you really must go nuts that night. grab a couple pals for an after-hours party at a local bar. (The key word here is "pals" —— as in not professional networking connections. )"
  37. ‘It may seem like a positive thing to be a person people easily remember from that networking event they attended. but do you really want to be remembered as that 'stumbly bumbly drunk guy/ girl‘ when your Linkedln invitation comes through? It's cool to have a drink to help you loosen up a bit and feel more comfortable approaching and taU<ing to strangers. but keep it to just one or two cocktails. I won't mention names. but one of my colleagues once got so drunk at an office party that she fell out of her chair and later got teased by our CEO for her bar gymnastics. That shouldn't be your goal" . M
  38. TALK ABOUT YOU, YOU, YOU
  39. "The most interesting people at events aren't the ones who dominate every conversation. Instead. they focus on listening and adding relevant and interesting tidbits to the conversation. People who do that will be memorable in a good way. "
  40. "More often than not. you are attending conferences that your potential customers are at as well. The more you listen to their needs and pain points, the more likely you are to find someone who needs your product or service to solve their problems. " "5" 39*‘
  41. MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN'T KEEP
  42. "Conferences are hectic. There are a million things you can do. and there's only a short amount of time to do them. If you can't get to every meeting, answer every email, respond to every GroupMe message, be honest. Don't make promises you can't keep. '" - . _ '? **°: »'_§jI. f?'. »Al‘§“. §~
  43. CLING TO PEOPLE YOU KNOW
  44. ''In my friends and co—workers circles. I'm notoriously known for "ditching" the group. But I can't help it. If given the opportunity to network, working independently will keep me from clinging to people I know and help me start new connections. Just don't be afraid to walk up to a group of people and introduce yourself. "
  45. BONUS TIPS!
  46. DO: Bring your phone DON'T: Tweet anything said after midnight DO: Always be learning DON'T: Accept the status quo E
  47. Carly Stec " -I on teri I r I»: Iii r"~ Q n . fiIfi @CarlyStec . . (

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