5 rules for attending tech networking events
Whether you’re a developer looking to advance in your career, the founder of a new tech start-up or an industry influencer, you’ll benefit from attending networking events.
Networking events and tech meetups offer the opportunity to build real-world relationships, generate business and keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends. With networking events having such hefty benefits, it’s important to know how to get the most out of them. We’ve come up with 5 rules to stick by when attending your next tech event.
Get involved in the conversation early
A large amount of tech events will rely heavily on promotion through social media platforms such as Twitter, where they’ll use a hashtag to keep attendees up to date with the latest news and information. Before you attend an event, search for any related conversations online and get involved. Joining in the conversation and getting to know people before you attend the event will make introductions much easier and you’ll have a better understanding of who to talk to and what to talk about.
Write down your goals
Everyone attends meetups for different reasons, so it’s important to know what you want to get out of the event before you attend. Whether you’re aiming to build business relationships, find a new job, recruit talent to join your team or simply learn more about the industry, knowing exactly what you want from a networking event before you attend means you can plan what you need to do to get the most out of it.
Do your research
It’s easy to turn up to an event expecting to bump into the hiring manager of your dream company and be offered a role on the spot, but the reality is very different. Events can vary in size massively and you could turn up to a room full of 500+ people. So, doing your research beforehand and finding any companies and individuals of interest is key as you’ll know who you need to talk to. Taking the time to do your research and getting to know exactly who you want to speak to before you attend will give you the chance to prepare a pitch about yourself, and think of any key questions to ask.
Be the card collector
How many times have you been given someone’s card that ended up getting lost or thrown away? Getting into the habit of handing people a card they didn’t ask for means you’re putting yourself in that same position. So, rather than giving your card to everyone you speak to, ask for their contact information and keep hold of it. Not only does this avoid your card getting lost, it puts the power of the follow up in your hands rather than relying on the individual to reach out to you.
Always follow up
The follow up is arguably the most important part of any networking event. After speaking to numerous individuals and taking their contact details, you should have a good idea of who you want to get in contact with. Ideally, you want to reach out within 24 hours of meeting so that the individual remembers you and the conversation you had. Sending an email or giving them a quick call to catch up as well as connecting with them on LinkedIn and Twitter will consolidate your professional relationship.
So, there you have 5 simple rules to stick by when you attend your next networking event. For more advice on networking and events, check out our blogs ‘the art of networking’ and ‘7 career benefits from a solid network’.