Scientists and engineers might focus on attending only
technical sessions at conferences. I know that was the
approach for my first decade. However, there is a
lot of important work that gets done at conference
exhibitions. Not the least is networking for job
openings and applications
Scenario: Invited to visit a governance, risk and
compliance exhibition in Boston this week to meet
up with my brother. Every one knows exhibitions
are great places to meet up with people while work
is going on or at a conference since there will be free
time, interesting things to learn and people in
Bling (=free hand-outs and gifts) is also available,
as a fun sidelight.
Perspective: While I am not at all involved with
this ‘formal’ field, there are “hooks” from my interests
and background that can be used to get into conversations
with people in the exhibition area.
- Bring your business cards.
- Have plenty of time to wander around and chat.
- Have something to write ideas down on and bring a
carrying case or valese (true, many exhibitions hand them
out; however, some don’t.)
Go in with the idea that you belong and want to meet people
and learn things about their products, businesses, and roles
in the company.
Have a short story about yourself ready to tell.
Just ordered some software from an electronics vendor that
I needed. There was a discount available and free shipping.
Net cost: $0. [Ad cost $60.]
Learned to use youtube much more to solve problems.
Spoke with very knowledgeable technical sales people and
learned a lot about things that I can use.
-how several large firms are using Sharepoint with some
front end software as ELNs [electronic lab notebooks]
-how a lot of firms have developed product and service
niches that create significant business process improvement.
-ideas on my passions, hobbies and problems through
There is a pecking order of people at each booth and
table. Be highly respectful.
If it is near the end of the quarter, some key people will
not be at the meeting. Quarterly business activities
It is always pleasant to get involved in mixers and
cocktail hours. People tend to loosen up and mingle,
if their business needs are met. If someone is alone
at their booth, offer to get something for them.
Oh, yes, got a couple of bling items– flashlight-screw
driver combo, Starbucks free coffee card….