Seven Ways to Take Your Networking to the Next Level

1. Who do you want to meet at HIMSS16? Think about who you want to connect with ahead of time so you can plan your approach. You can make sure to attend the events that your best prospects are likely to attend.


2. Take advantage of social media. Use the HIMSS16 social media channels – including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – to connect with other attendees before the conference. You may even want to arrange a meeting with a new contact before the conference starts!


3. Stay at a conference hotel. You never know who you’ll meet in the elevator! When you stay at a conference hotel, you have the opportunity to meet fellow attendees in the lobby, on the shuttle bus or at the restaurant.  Plus, staying at a conference hotel ensures you are close to the convention center also ensures that you won’t waste time commuting when you could be making valuable connections.


4. Arrive early. You’ll be more comfortable as the crowd gathers if you already have the lay of the land. You’ll also be able to talk to colleagues and mentors in a quieter, less crowded space before the event.


5. Ask what you can do for them. Networking is the proverbial “two-way street”.  Can you provide useful information to a potential contact? This might make them more likely to remember you and follow up.


6. Practice your pitch. Conferences can be hectic, and often there’s no time for aimless chit-chat. Consider rehearsing your “pitch” so that when you meet a potential contact you aren’t fumbling for the right words.


7. Ask questions! If there is a Q&A after a session, your creative question or comment can impress the entire room. If the speaker is the person you want to meet, sit close to the podium so you can approach after the presentation with an incisive comment or observation, or email the presenter after the conference.