10 Tips for Networking Like a Rock Star
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10 Tips for Networking Like a Rock Star

Event season is here, and we’re thrilled to welcome many of you to Orlando this May for ICMI Contact Center Expo. Have you started planning your agenda? One of the biggest benefits of attending industry events is networking with industry experts; but let’s face it. Networking can be a little awkward, and knowing where to begin can feel overwhelming.

That’s why we've compiled a few tips to help you network with confidence.

1.    Stay at the hotel that's hosting the conference. There you will experience more opportunities for 'chance' meetings in the lobby, gym, or coffee shop to talk with speakers and other attendees. (Even staying at conference-arranged overflow hotels mean you are sure to run into other attendees.)

2.    Don't skip out on the networking socials. Resist the urge to go back to your room and check email. Make the most of your time at the conference and make connections.

3.    Use the nametag.  Make sure your nametag is visible so others can identify you. Pay attention to other attendees' nametags, too.  Check out their company, job role, etc.

4.    Step out of your comfort zone - introduce yourself! A quick glance at nametags can help you locate people in the same industry or job role. Start the conversation by asking them a question about their contact center, how long they've been with the company, which session they've enjoyed the most so far, etc. (You can also watch the quick video below for some fun conversation starters) Be sure to attend the 'Start with Hello' reception to make early connections.

5.    Don't bury your head in your laptop or phone during breaks. Circulate the room and make eye contact with a smile; this will make it easier for someone to approach and talk to you.

6.    Sit with strangers. I know what your parents taught you, but in this case, it's ok to talk to strangers. Resist the urge to sit with co-workers during breakfast, lunch, sessions, or on the tour bus.

7.    Exchange contact cards. This year the mobile app offers an easy way to exchange contact info. Or, hit the easy button and share business cards. Write a quick note on the back of the card so you can remember the conversation when you return to the office.

8.    Take advantage of ICMI Twitter chats (#ICMIchat). We chat every Tuesday at 1:00 ET on Twitter. On May 15th we'll host special 'Expo Know Before You Go' chat. It's a great chance to meet other attendees and speakers in advance.

9.    Use the mobile app. There are several topic channels on the mobile app to help facilitate conversations and meetups. Whether you're looking for a workout buddy,  a morning running partner, or you want to assemble a group dinner, the app makes it easy to connect.

10.    Follow-up after the conference. The connections don't have to end when you go home. Send a quick note, or a LinkedIn invite after the event (be sure to include a short reminder of your conversation).  Participate in #ICMIchat on Tuesdays so you can stay in touch with conference pals, and meet new connections.

Bonus: Start using our official conference hashtag! (#CCExpo) Here you'll find conference tips, speaker content, exhibitor announcements, and more! It's also a great place to start conversation before the event.

Looking for a few more tips and tricks? Check out this advice from ICMI event speaker Nate Brown. Have tips you’d like to add to the mix? Tweet them using our conference hashtag: #CCExpo.

Topics: Learning & Development


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