Prepping Now for Conference Connecting

The Creative Freelancer Conference is approaching like a comet! Are you feeling ready and game? Have you thought about how to make connections with folks while you are in Chicago? The way we join up with other solo entrepreneurs will certainly color our immediate conference experience, but it could also lead to bigger and better things business-wise after the conference.

Here are 3 things that will help you connect and cavort while you are at the CFC:

  1. Take a box of 500 (even if you end up using 30) business cards, calling cards, name cards, chico bags with info you want to share on them.
  2. Give said cards to people you connect to; duh. I am writing this not to beat you about the head with the obvious—but to remind you that at a 3-day conference of 300+ folks, you may only have 45 seconds to personally interact with someone who piques your interests, curiosity or who you’d like to know more about. Be intentional about what you want. If that includes connecting, collaborating, or wanting access to great humans in your field—make it easy for them to find you.
  3. Ask others for their cards. There are more fringe-dwelling solo-artists out there, many of whom are not used to talking to strangers. It is totally okay that you “don’t do networking,” but please don’t let that keep you from showing up in Chicago as available to connect. And for entrepreneurial sake: don’t get caught rationing the wallet dose of 15 cards you brought to an national conference of terrific folks who showed up to connect with you!

So…how do you connect at conferences? Is there anything you do in advance to make it easier to connect once you’re there? Or do you have a story of a missed connection? Let us know in the comments.

(And look out for part TWO of this blog post: You collected cards and shared yours—NOW WHAT?)

2 thoughts on “Prepping Now for Conference Connecting

  1. Ami

    I’ve only recently found the courage to begin marketing myself by handing out my business cards. It just occurred to me while reading this, though, that I’m not nearly as good about asking others for theirs. I guess that’s something I should work on for the next time I’m at a big conference or networking event. Thanks for the great tips!

  2. Dyana Valentine

    You are so welcome! Way to find the courage to ask–it really adds energy to an interaction when it loops. Sometimes the environment of an event can be overstimulating and folks simply space on reciprocating with their cards. Let me know how it goes for you at the next network or gathering.