Networking can be a lot of fun, but it can also be tricky to make inroads, especially if it’s your first time. We’re here to give you some handy tips to ensure that you make the most out of your conference experience.
If you’ve attended conferences in the past then you’ll know that they can be intimidating at first. There’s always the fear that you are out of your depth, among people who seem to know a lot more about the industry than you do. If this sounds familiar then we’re here to guide you through the ups and downs of the conference world.
I’m Out of My Depth
If you’re standing in a hall, filled with people who look like they know exactly what they’re doing and feel like you don’t belong, then rest assured, you do belong there. Nobody is an expert when they start out, and the people who are around you know the troubles you are experiencing. Don’t be afraid to let people in the room know you are new to the business. More often than not people will like talking to you and telling you all about how they have made a living in the industry and this can lead to some useful advice.
Once you get over this fear, you’ll be ready to go out there and become a mover and a shaker. But you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve to move on to the next stage.
First Impressions Last
Make sure that you are making a good first impression. You can do this by making sure you understand exactly who you are and what you want. Even if you’re a noob you should know the area of the market you are interested in. If so, make sure to use this when beginning your conversations. For example:
“Hi there, I’m Jake. I’m relatively new to the affiliate world and I’m interested in the online gaming market.”
Obviously this isn’t an exact model of how you are going to advertise yourself, but it gives you a good idea. It shows that you are not afraid to start out and are eager to learn. It also highlights the area you are targeting, and if you strike up a conversation with someone in the same area, you can develop a potentially profitable relationship.
Dress to Impress
Dressing appropriately will always be important in every area of your life. The affiliate world is no different. This doesn’t mean that you should attend every conference dressed like James Bond. Smart casual is the way to go. You don’t want to over-dress but you equally don’t want to under-dress.
Smart trousers, shirt and jacket are a good way to go. You don’t have to be a trend setter but you should show that you’ve made a bit of an effort. You’ll see people dressed very casually, and that’s fine, but if you are starting out you want to feel good about yourself. Wearing the right clothes and dressing confidently can really help motivate you to approach people with more confidence.
This is pretty self explanatory. Take business cards and hand them out whenever you get the opportunity. It is key to making contacts and keeping in touch. They should include your name and email address as a bare minimum. You can choose to put a phone number on there too, but if you do so, make sure to include your country’s calling code. People at conferences travel from all over the world and so if don’t include it, most people won’t bother calling.
If you are new to the industry then don’t exaggerate your abilities. If you are trying to go into business with someone and you tell them that you are able to meet deadlines which are way ahead of your potential, then people are going to get annoyed. This will only damage your reputation and make other affiliates less likely to work with you.
Being honest also means that you shouldn’t be afraid to share tips that you have picked up along the way. Doing this tells others that you are trustworthy and they will be more likely to share information with you. They might also tell you how your great idea could be improved upon.
After you have found people you are interested in communicating with and exchanged business cards then you’re going to have to make sure that you follow up. You can either do this by arranging to meet at one of the evening parties or, if your schedule is booked up, you can email them once you return.
It is important to follow up shortly after the conferences otherwise the lead will grow cold. It also makes it easier to think of things to write because the meeting is fresh in your mind. Another thing you can do is make notes on the people who you want to follow up with after. The chances are you’ll meet more people than you could possibly keep in contact with, and as a result you’ll need to prioritise. To do this, you can mark the business cards of those people who you found most interesting and useful and ensure that those are the first people who you contact upon your return.
Last but not least, have fun. This seems like it shouldn’t be a primary concern but it ought to be something you put on an equal level with everything else. This doesn’t mean hit the champagne bar as hard as you can, you still want to be presentable, but relax and take everything in. You are there to learn but you’re also there to meet people with similar interests, and the best way to meet people is to relax.
No one likes being around people who are uptight and can’t discuss anything but work. Trust me, when you get there, you are not going to be the only person who spotted the amazing display of cocktails at the bar. So, whilst you’re not technically on holiday, you aren’t in the office either. So , loosen up, have a couple of Mai Tais and get chatting. You can meet some amazing people and make lifelong friends.
For information on which conferences you should be attending , check out the link below.
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