Monday, February 14, 2011

The ABC's of Trade Shows and Conferences - H is for Hello

It sounds simple, but once you have said "Hello" to someone, and they have reciprocated, you now have the right to chit-chat. Starting a conversation with a stranger is the first step to discovering if there is a path to a deeper relationship.

Most people who go to conferences, trade shows, conventions, seminars and other professional gatherings are there to make connections with others. Across all industry lines people cite "networking opportunities" as a primary reason for attending these events, however once they arrive... they stink at making any meaningful connections.

Help others meet you by being the one who initiates a conversation. Be approachable and smile at people. Once you have the chance, say "Hello", do so with a sincere interest in finding out more about the other person.

You will discover when at a multi-day event that the people you speak to early on will cross your path repetitively over the course of the ensuing days. These people will be in line for food, at a nearby Starbucks, and getting on or off the elevator. The first conversations you have with others once you arrive could create the groundwork for most of your social interactions at the event.

I call it "The Power of Hello". You will not have a strong connection with everyone you meet, but the more people you talk with, the higher the chance of encountering one or more with whom you will find common ground.

If you are shy, push yourself just a little to talk to three new people at each break, happy hour, or meal. Hiding in the corner will keep you from finding those "networking opportunities", and deprive others from knowing you. Remember, you might be the person who can help others succeed. It is not just about you finding links to future success, you could provide a conduit to others.

It all starts with "Hello"

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Thom Singer is known as "The Conference Catalyst". He works with meeting planners and conference organizers to set the tone for a meeting. His presentations educate, inspire and motivate attendees to engage deeper in the event and make meaningful connections.

No comments: