I go to lots of workshops and conferences, and I must say some are pretty ho hum when it comes to content. It is so disappointing when this happens – and let’s not even mention when the speaker turns up late or is disorganised.

So how can you get your money’s – and time – worth when this happens?

Think about it. You’re probably in a room full of people who are similar to you, or you can do business with, or you can build connections with.

Yes, it’s a networking opportunity. This happened to me recently, and I left with a new client and new friends!

Use the breaks effectively
Sure the breaks are great to check emails but they are perfect opportunity to chat with other attendees.

Change seats
Rather than sit at the same seat, if possible, move around so you can sit with more than just the same people.

Introduce yourself
The best way to start a conversation while networking is simply saying, “Hello, I’m [name]. What’s your business (or what do you do)?"

An easy way to meet new people is to chat about the program or a speaker you like. A good way to get this conversation started is to ask, “My head is overloaded with great information from today; what gem has resonated with you?”

Connect after the event
If you’ve connected with interesting people, contact them to have coffee or a catch up after the event. Also, you should just stay in contact by connecting with everyone you’ve met on LinkedIn.

Not all is lost when you turn up to an event that isn’t great, use it to your advantage and you never know what opportunities could come your way.

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Catriona Pollard

From Unknown To Expert
CP Communications

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