LinkedIn, Twitter, webinars, and conference calls are all essential tools to keep connected in today’s workplace. In spite of these technologies that allow professionals to connect virtually, connecting in person is regarded as far superior.
That is why over 4 days between October 21 and 24, more than 10,000 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists will converge on Chicago to attend the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.
We will learn about new research and gain valuable continuing education credits by attending education sessions. We will explore the expo floor and learn about new products and programs. We will recognize our leaders. We will enjoy receptions and catered events. We will celebrate 100 years of our professional organization. But, more than anything else, we will benefit from connecting with fellow professionals - both new colleagues and old friends.
The relationships that are created and strengthened at live conferences are tremendously valuable. They result in shared information, job opportunities, collaborations, and much more.
If you are planning to attend FNCE or another live event, plan to network effectively by following these steps:
Recognize that you are always making an impression – so make a good first impression and leave a positive lasting impression.
Seek to build relationships – ask permission to connect, identify common ground, be authentic, remember names, and build trust.
Show interest and make connections – ask good questions and listen attentively.
Exchange business cards and add notes that help you remember the encounter.
Seek to give rather than get – become a resource, refer to others if someone seeks expertise you do not have, and look for how you can help.
Follow-up in a personalized way – thank those who provided you with leads or information. Provide answers and solutions to questions and requests posed to you.
Every profession is only as strong as its members, who are always stronger together.
“It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.” Harvey S. Firestone
In next week’s blog I will share what I learned at FNCE. Share in the comments your favorite way to connect at conventions.