In July last year I blogged about ‘The Art of Networking: Drawing Upon my Month of Travels.’ It is very much a running joke with my colleagues that I am a conference princess, who seems to attend more in one year than most people do in a decade! However, in 2017 I have learnt from some mistakes the past few years and in attending (a scaled back amount) of events I have done two key things differently:
- Better use of twitter… I use twitter a lot to disseminate and share, but this year I have used it as my primary follow up tool. To me it is redundant, to an extent, to give out an email address or business card. As realistically you will use it when you actively want or need something off the person you meet. Whereas, twitter offers a space to connect and stay up to date in a passive manner, then when the moment arises you can start a dialogue with the person or organisation you had met. So, I am much better now at adding on twitter during a session or conversation as a way of connecting.
- Feed forward… I am certainly now very well versed in filling out feedback forms, but actually it is more valuable to feed forward. In particular, using the time straight after a conference to make notes, write a blog, or email round to colleagues any nuggets that they might find useful. Two examples to demonstrate that are the blog I wrote for the Sport and Recreation Alliance in May after their ‘Sports Summit.’ Then the blog I wrote for the Open Forum Events around the ‘Standards in Sport: Ethics, Integrity and Governance’ this past week. Not only does this hone my writing skills, it also gives me a way to keep better records and better dissemination of what I got from the events.
Hopefully now instead of mincing round conferences and events like a busy fool, I can begin to better utilise the networks, information and notes that I collect along the way. Who knows when they will be useful in the future, but better to have it all logged than in a notebook somewhere!
p.s. huge shout out to the dream team that organised the University of Worcester Postgraduate Conference yesterday, it turns out I am good at organising as well as attending!