Following are seven tips for developing strong, meaningful relationships with attendees during conferences.

meaningful relationships

Getting better at meeting new people and developing connections is a key aspect of helping us hone our professional abilities. When we make an effort to improve our capacity to engage with others, the more natural it becomes to develop connections. Once we’ve established contacts, we look forward to the constructing process, which we anticipate to be a pleasant experience. To paraphrase: Our opportunity set in life is dependent on both our skills and our social connections. Conference travel gives us a unique opportunity to shape who we know for the rest of our lives.

Takeaway messages from Conferences that provide timeless tips for connecting and building relationships

We go to plenty of functions in order to learn new things while making new contacts. We all arrive at our destination for the same reason: to broaden our knowledge and strengthen our connections. We are aware that these friendships and commercial collaborations may grow over time.

Participating in events

By attending social gatherings, we’re able to meet new people more easily. Even if a number of conferences have been delayed or gone virtual because of the epidemic, it is more essential than ever to participate in these events because of the depth of the relationships built.

To be able to meet new people, we must quickly learn to adjust to a more detached networking environment, and to prepare for an eager return to face-to-face meetings in the future.

Lives enhanced because of the ties

Making relationships at conferences doesn’t always show its full effect straight away. To cultivate these relationships and accomplish this effectively, we need a strategy. Larger connections between individuals are progressively formed via meaningful, steady, and honest follow-up. To be effective, a follow-up relies on information you acquire and the amount of efforts you put to portray who you are in the best possible light.

Creative and sincere follow-ups

The “crowd” will generally choose the most simple and least successful method of developing relationships.

You will never hear from the individual again, or you could receive a generic email that says, “It was lovely meeting you at the conference. I hope to remain in touch with you, so please feel free to visit my website whenever you’d like.

Setting up a new contact management system might help you avoid this typical error. To get started, you must prepare.

Think on what you would like to accomplish at the conference ahead of time.

When you want to attend a conference, establish a list of goals about the people you want to meet. A contingency plan (to give yourself time to act before you leave) should be developed in advance for how you may be able to work with or support both the competent contacts you meet and the less-than-ideal ones.

In other words, even if an individual may not be the best person to get in touch with, they may know someone else who can help you.

When you build truly useful and mutually beneficial relationships, those kinds of partnerships may not be evident to you at first. To find the interests and opportunities you both share, you may have to have numerous encounters or talks with that person.

He partnered with Sameer Somal, who leads Blue Ocean Global Technology’s corporate and community relations efforts, and introduced him to the chief sales officer for a major financial services organisation, but Sameer thought that the new contact was not likely to do business with us directly. However, it was only when they discovered Blue Ocean Servicessupporting companies in creating a digital presence that promotes sustained sales growththat they realised how helpful Blue Ocean is.

Sameer’s connection was reestablished, and the firm’s owner was reestablished. Blue Ocean Global Technology received a good written reference in their new contract. Everyone will benefit from this agreement.
When interacting, networking, and developing contacts at your next conference or event, try to extract the maximum value possible.

Make Connecting a Priority.

In the beginning, put all of your effort into learning about your customers. Giving someone your entire attention has the biggest impact since it boosts their self-esteem and makes them feel valuable. They will also be more likely to talk about themselves, their work, their interests, and their businesses, when they feel that they have been heard.

To keep your focus, confront them squarely and lean forward little. If you haven’t already, make sure to not breach their personal space. Suggest going to another spot where you’ll be less likely to get distracted. For example, you can choose for an alcove or a quieter section of the room.

Don’t look around to check who else is in the room or what else is happening when you’re talking to someone new. Avoid indirectly glancing at others, as doing so lets them know you aren’t interested in what they have to say, which might lead to a bad first impression that’s tough to overcome.

In order to keep a business discussion apart from initial meeting conversations, Alex Jenkins, Relationship Director and Investment Specialist at Avantis Investors, endeavours to avoid the topic of business wherever possible. If the other person prefers to discuss career interests or work-related things, Alex will join in, but he does not usefully take charge of the conversation until the other person invites him to do so.

To avoid mentioning the firm directly, Alex reveals his interest in learning about who the individual is, and not just what they do.

Look after your new contacts and keep an eye on what they care about; this will help you understand what is essential to them at the time or in their daily life. There are two main reasons to talk about yourself during a networking event: it’s important to share potentially significant business information, and you may mention your favourite sports team, movie, or relative.

First thing you should do is focus on your new friend and establish trust. This individual may be the best relationship you’ll ever have.
Here is Alex Jenkins, a consultant with Blue Ocean, giving a presentation at an event.

Make a note of important details.

One of the best ways to be prepared when you talk to a new individual is to acquire data beyond just their basic contact information. You should either take notes during your talks or make a point to jot down your main takeaways as soon as you finish chatting with them.

In order to be sure your information is well organised, consider utilising the note feature on your phone or a tiny notepad that you can keep in your pocket. Regardless of whether you prefer pen and paper or using a digital recorder, make sure to jot down notes on the back of your business cards.

The details will not be simply remembered. We inevitably lose pieces of crucial information from an interesting debate just as soon as the next captivating discussion starts. When scheduling time to meet with a new contact, always spend a few minutes to analyse and write some of the important topics that were discussed at the beginning.

To hear and learn are intertwined.

If someone reveals information about themselves, use it as an opportunity to ask a relevant question or make a comment. Don’t move on to the next subject on your list until you’ve properly dealt with the current one.

Helping people by providing them with good comments fosters trust, which results in rapport. Once you have the information, follow-up conversations may be more productive.

For the sake of this example, let’s suppose the person announces a new product launch for their firm. Ask what they think about the product, and what distinguishes it from the rest of the company’ products. You can say, “Thank you for telling me. “Continue to tell me about that.” Knowing what is important to them is a fundamental part of developing a connection.

People will want to deepen the relationship, according to John Livesay, author of Better Selling Through Storytelling.

Find out your relationship’s definition.

Try to find out why each new contact is contacting you.

Make an effort to get to know people at the conference and find out what sort of person they are wanting to meet. You might just be that person. Also, suggest someone you know from your network who you think might be a suitable match for them. According to the law of reciprocity, people feel obligated to return favours.

You’ve enhanced your presence at the conference with this new territory. (Similarly, you may designate individuals who only aid you out of obligation as “takers.”)

To expedite the encounter with other persons with whom you could meet, swap business phone numbers and save yourself time.

Attend to what they want.

Before introducing yourself to someone new, ask what phone number, email address, or other contact information they would want to be provided. There are some people who would prefer a phone call over email since they are now receiving a lot of email. While some like to text to quickly set up a call or meeting, I prefer to email. To gain their trust, you should interact with them in a way that would enable them to more readily accept you.

It shows that you are interested in cultivating a real relationship with them—whenever they need or want it.

Cultivate knowledgeable contacts.

Quality, not quantity, is key. It does not necessary make you a winner to have returned from a conference with hundreds of new contacts. One of the great advantages of networking is the quantity of contacts you create. Establishing relationships and participating in activities with other people doesn’t have to happen all at once.

Prior to making changes, I would follow up with everyone the same manner and it was both tiring and annoying. To discover those people who are the most qualified to conduct business with you directly or who might help in enabling another relationship that is potentially advantageous, search for persons who demonstrate the characteristics listed above.

Adding relevant business questions to your interactions can help you qualify new contacts. There’s no telling. The ideal, potential, or ideal customer you may be conversing with represents a challenge your firm can overcome, resulting in new business sooner rather than later.

A valuable friendship is formed when you give yourself up to learn from others. According to well-known philanthropists, those who volunteer feel wonderful since it’s the greatest way to give back. The other important aspect of connection is what you may receive from others. You give much more to the world than you could possible get from it. IBM’s director of worldwide storage, Marie Beane.

Keep track of the follow-up activities.

It takes time to follow up with new connections, so before your next conference, plan follow-up actions in your calendar for the following week.

If you skip this essential phase in the relationship-building process, you risk sliding back into your usual routine and overlooking or delaying this important step in the process. Generic communications that I have discussed previously are typically caused by a lack of effort on follow-up.

Undisciplined entrepreneurs, however, will follow up poorly and realise that they accomplished something, which they don’t always feel satisfied with.

Your first encounters with people at conferences can plant the seeds for productive business connections in the future if you take the time to manage these early contacts wisely.

Recognize that building solid connections is a process that requires time, therefore your follow-up strategy is crucial.

By becoming sensitive to details, incorporating those facts into your subsequent conversations, and nurturing good connections for everyone involved, you may empower yourself for success.

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About the Author: Leah Harper