VO Conference Strategies Part 3: Networking Tips

Networking tips for conferences

Networking at any time takes skill and courage. At a conference, it definitely takes strategizing, planning, and executing with confidence. Thankfully, networking at voiceover conferences really couldn’t be easier. You have A LOT in common with everyone in attendance. Introverted extroverts, extroverted introverts… we’re all quite a crew. But, we have so much in common that striking up a conversation is extremely easy and so rewarding. Here are five networking tips for a VO conference:

Welcome meeting lots of random strangers

Sitting with people you haven’t met, random seating at meals for example, will always provide an opportunity to network… and with a captive audience at that. Don’t be shy about mixing in with anyone you don’t know in the voiceover world. Most people are very good at welcoming you in immediately, including you in conversation, and introducing you to people you’ve never met.

Introduce yourself to everyone

…even in the elevator and at every meal. Don’t wait for others to introduce themselves. You’ve got one to four days to meet a bunch of new friends, many could become your very best friends and/or your support network. Whether in an elevator when you first arrive, early in the morning, or at any random time, put out your hand and be confident about saying hello. (You may already be friends on Facebook!)

Be judicious and deliberate about handing out your business card

Don’t just hand your card out indiscriminately. You’re wasting your time and money. Don’t hand out your card upon introducing yourself. It’s presumptuous. Ask for cards from those whom you are truly interested in – potential friends & clients, industry leaders, coaches. It’s much more graceful to ask for someone’s card with sincere interest and then to elegantly share your card at the same time. Be sure to have enough on hand for when you really want them, but don’t be too concerned if you don’t hand them all out.

Don’t ask people to listen to your demo

..unless you have a really good reason. We all have demos. Lots of them. If someone is interested in listening to your stuff, they will. If you want advice, ask for their business card and connect with them after the fact.

Reach out to each person

I try to reach out within a week after meeting those whose cards I’ve collected. I send a personal, individual email. It continues the thread of conversation and helps remind you of each other after the tsunami of introductions and conference excitement. Doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say. A simply, “great to meet you…hope you arrived home safely” will do.

Without question, there are LOADS more tips for networking… What are things that have been really helpful to you in networking situations?

See also:

Pre-Conference Planning (Part 1)

Conference Tactics (Part 2)

Use Social Media (Part 4)



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