As in-person conferences are starting to ramp back up and we are dusting off our suits and professional attire, PharmaFinders thought it might be timely to chat a little bit about networking and some best practices to employ as you’re getting ready to hit the streets again!
Personally, I am really looking forward to seeing people face-to-face again. It’s always been one of my favorite things as a recruiter, to finally have an opportunity to put a face with a name I’ve likely been talking to for YEARS over the phone/computer!
Since primarily having in-person interaction with only my family and close friends, it is very likely my networking skills need some polish after all this time on the shelf due to COVID.
Let’s refresh, shall we!
TIPS TO REMEMBER:
-Not all networking gets done at the scheduled networking events, be sure to take advantage of any opportunity to meet someone new!
-Review the attendee list ahead of time, if possible, see if there are people there you want to actively try to meet.
-Keep an open mind and positive attitude, try not to psych yourself out!
-Make sure you have your business cards handy (and PLENTY of them).
-Have a professional contact card saved for yourself in your phone that you can easily share (that doesn’t include ALLLLL of your personal information, just name, phone, email, business website/LinkedIn).
-Have a relevant elevator pitch/introduction for yourself.
-Don’t go into a conversation thinking about what you can get out of it, instead a better approach to consider would be “where can I bring value to this person?”.
-Above all, be yourself! Clearly, we want to make lasting positive impressions with the people we meet, but it’s also important to let your personality come through as well.
Also, keep in mind that last impressions are just as important as first impressions.
When you’re exiting a conversation, try to leave the door open for future connection if possible:
-Are you planning on attending the networking event later? Great, maybe I will catch you there!
-I really enjoyed speaking with you, I would love to connect via email or LinkedIn– here’s my card.
Things are a little weird with COVID, so not everyone wants to shake hands– but if you’re comfortable, a firm handshake is a great way to leave a lasting impression with someone.
A few openers you can use if you’re stuck on ways to start a conversation:
-Is this your first in-person conference?
-How are you liking the sessions so far?
-Is there a particular session you’re really excited for?
-Are there any exhibition booths you’d recommend stopping by?
-Which session has been your favorite?
-Can open the door for you to learn a bit more about the session, share your experience and any key takeaways you’ve learned so far.
-Have you ever been to X (location where the conference is being held) before?
-If “yes”, it might open the door for asking about what they like about the city, any favorite spots they might recommend you check out in your off time, etc..
I hope this can be a helpful reminder to make the most out of the opportunity to be face-to-face again. We are looking forward to meeting as many of you as we possibly can in 2022! Let us know what conferences you’ll be attending this year, we’d love to connect!