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Prepare

 
How to Prepare

Have a Goal

Come up with two outcomes you hope to get out of the event—say, meeting three new people or getting one new job lead. (Or, if you’re going to reconnect with friends, that’s fine, too!) Knowing ahead of time what you’re hoping to accomplish will help you stay focused—not aimlessly wandering around.

 

Dress to Impress
When you’re planning your outfit, pick something professional—you won’t make an impression (at least, not a good one) if you look dishevelled, disorganized, or overly casual. But also pick something that makes you feel good—a great dress or those new shoes you’ve been wanting to wear will help you exude confidence in what can be an uncomfortable setting.

 

Bring Business Cards

Bring more business cards than you think you’ll need, and keep a stack of them in a card case. This way, they won’t get dirty or crumpled in your purse, and you can grab them quickly—it’s much more professional to pull your card out of a case then go searching through your bag.

 

Set a goal for what you’d like to learn at the conference, and use the agenda to devise a plan specifically tailored to that goal. Make sure to attend conference-wide events like keynote addresses. Most conferences won’t hold breakout sessions during these presentations, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on anything else.
The people you’ll attend sessions with are as important as the sessions themselves. There’s no better time to network with your peers, connect with new prospects, or touch base with customers than at a conference.
While You’re There
Networking is one of the greatest tools you have in your job search, and by being prepared for the event, professional once you get there, and proactive with your follow-up, you can make sure you get the most out of it. Beyond that, just try to relax and have some fun!
The first step in a great introduction is enthusiasm. When you walk up to someone with a big smile on your face and introduce yourself, not only do you appear more welcoming, but you also seem genuinely excited to meet that person. This is a win-win at networking events, and it will help you start a conversation on the right foot.
First impressions can be hard to beat. Make sure yours is a good one. When you meet someone at a networking event, offer them a genuine and firm handshake. You might not know it, but a bad handshake (or NO handshake) can reflect poorly on you. When shaking someone’s hand, don’t crush the their fingers, but don’t give them the old dead fish either.
One of the first things people ask at networking events is “What do you do?” If your work isn’t self-explanatory or you’re unemployed, this can be a tricky thing to answer. Instead of waiting for the dreaded question, take the bull by the horns and pop it into your introduction. However, instead of simply telling them your job or role, explain the problem you solve.
You probably won’t remember the important details of every conversation, so it can be helpful to write them down. After mingling with a few people, find a corner of the room to subtly make notes on the back of each person’s business card about who she is, what you talked about, and any follow-up you want to do. Remember, the purpose of a networking event is to connect with people in the future, and this will make following up with them much, much easier.

 

Pro tip: Feeling social? Tweet about us!

 

Hashtag: #mosaicIPC

 

MOSAIC: @mosaicbc
MOSAIC CEO Olga Stachova: @OlgaStachova

Minister Bruce Ralston: @BruceRalston
Keynote Alden E. Habacon: @AldenHabacon

Constance Lynn Hummel: @ConlynnHummel
Iris Cai: @iriscaicoaching
Kaishin Chu: @MethodSquared
Kimberley Rawes: @KimberleyRawes
Wa’el Hussein: @WaeljHussein

 

Pro tip: LinkedIn Mobile App

 

If you meet a business leader you want to talk more with later, being able to pull up their LinkedIn profile on the fly and send them a connection request can help you make the best of each interaction.

 

After the Conference

Follow up
A few days after the event, send follow-up emails to anyone you met that you’d like to continue networking with. Make sure to personalize each email, letting each person know you enjoyed meeting them and mentioning something that you talked about. A tip: One of the quickest ways to stop a connection is to send someone a generic LinkedIn invite. This is also the time to suggest any follow-up, for example, to ask your new contact to meet up for an informational interview.

 

Recount what you learned
See your notes again and think about how you can apply what you learned in your career development.

 

Share the knowledge

Tell your friends about what you learned and how it can benefit them. The more the merrier!

 

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