3 Steps to Prepare for Networking at Conferences

Personally I get really excited when I met someone else who is on a gluten free diet.  Whether I’m in the gluten free aisle at my local grocery store or at a crowded event, I instantly I feel a connection.  I say to myself, “this person understands exactly what it means to live the way I live – gluten free.

Although, I have not attended a dedicated gluten free conference (until this fall where I’ll be attending the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in New Jersey), I’ve attended some of the largest conferences across the US like BlogHer.  Before you attend an expo where you’ll be networking with other bloggers and companies, there are three things you need to do to prepare yourself.  Here they are:

1.  Know the conference’s Twitter hashtag

Start networking early. Most conferences and expos provide attendees with a Twitter hashtag.  Don’t wait until you walk into the convention area to start networking.  Start following the hashtag several weeks before to meet others also attending.  Even if you consider yourself a social butterfly, it’s always easier to walk into a room where you already know a few people!

2. Print business cards

During your time at the conference, you’ll meet a lot of people.  Make sure you’re able to continue your networking after you go home by giving out business cards to your new contacts.  Include your name, email address and website address for easy follow up.

3. Create an elevator pitch for your blog

While you will be meeting a lot of people, you want to make an impression.  In order for your new contacts to remember you, you’ll want to create an elevator pitch for your blog.  Think about your blog.  Do you provide gluten free recipes? Gluten free product reviews? Incorporate this into your pitch.  Here’s an example of the elevator pitch for the Gluten Free Bloggers network.

“After attending some of the best blogging conferences and spending thousands of dollars learning the best tips and tricks to creating a successful blog, I created the Gluten Free Bloggers network as a community to share this knowledge.  With over 400 members today, we actively connect bloggers with gluten free brands.”

These are three ways to prepare for your upcoming networking event.

Have you attended any networking events or conventions lately? Share your biggest networking tips below.