Networking is often the catalyst that prompts people to attend conferences, yet delivering on this expectation can be tricky. What’s even trickier – attendees are getting better at leveraging digital channels to find and connect with the people they most want to meet. They’re not as dependent as they once were on conferences to address this crucial need.
Still, digital meet-ups will never be as rich or rewarding as face-to-face conversations.
The tech industry coined the word “connexity” that hits on two things conference attendees crave most – connection and community. With hundreds, even thousands of people walking your conference and trade show floor, your attendees want to quickly connect with like-minded people, facing the same challenges, to engage in more purposeful conversations to find that next breakthrough idea.
With conference networking expectations rising fast, we gathered our team to study this topic more closely. For months, we engaged in conversations with one another and with many of you to better understand the networking disruptors and accelerants. We observed best practices in action and quite a few networking fumbles. The sum total of this work revealed three big ideas we believe will help you deliver more effectively on your conference networking promise:
1. Embed Networking Throughout the Conference Program Design
2. Link Networking With Innovation
3. Unleash Planned Serendipity
Details about how to make this happen have been captured in an eBook we created as a follow-up to a session I am presenting today at the PCMA Education Conference in Denver (Connexity: Reinventing the Networking Experience). We’re also making this eBook available to our blog subscribers. Click the cover below to download this free eBook – no strings attached, no login required!
Once you give this a read, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Which one of the three big ideas struck you as a best fit for your conference? What new ideas would you add to this list?
thom singer says
This ebook is great. I loved how simple your team made the concepts of connection and community. The point that networking should not just be highlighted at an opening reception and instead weaved through the whole event is spot on. The best connections happen when least expected, and you never know how a conversation in the halls at a conference can impact a life!
Sarah Michel says
Thanks Thom for the nice feedback on our book. We’re proud of it too and it’s great to have the endorsement from you, a REAL network evangelist! See you in a few weeks at NSA.
Christina Goebel says
Awesome book. Everyone should read it. Gone are the days when it was acceptable for a conference to be boring. Those who don’t get in with change will quickly fall behind. Thanks for sharing this valuable content and for making the easy download!
Leslie Fritz says
I truly appreciate the strategy of creating “army connectors.” We are seeing an increase in first time attendees and they tell us they want to become participants instead of observers. What we called “room hosts” before could now become our connectors!
Sarah Michel says
Thanks Leslie! I love the idea of turning the role of “room hosts/session Monitors” into ” The Army of Connectors” I think you could have a lot of fun with that metaphor…recruiting army…join the army now and serve…Love it!