Friday, May 20, 2011

Networking At A Business Conference Matters - Be Savvy!

I speak at business conferences. My Conference Catalyst Program transforms the typical meeting into an experience where people are impacted not just through the learning, but from each other. A major reason why people attend events is the "networking opportunities", but once they arrive, they stink at making meaningful connections.

The Conference Catalyst is weaved throughout the schedule, and it is interesting to see the metamorphosis that can take place in the ways people behave during their time together.  The more people engage with one another, the higher the energy in the crowd.

I enjoy hearing stories about networking and how it impacted the lives of people I meet at conferences. At a recent conference (DemandCon 2011 in San Francisco) I met Heather Rubesch from Savvy B2B Marketing.  Her blog is one of the most popular marketing portals online with over 100,000 visitors each month.  It is written by six women who are all marketing experts.  The success of their blog over the last two years has catapulted them into the ranks of marketing gurus.

The interesting part about Savvy B2B Marketing is how these six bloggers met and founded their highly successful site.

The "Savvy Sisters" met at a business conference while networking.  Their casual camaraderie quickly grew into professional respect and then friendship. They began sharing war stories, resources, and tips. Launching a blog to provide other marketers with inspiration, tools, and strategies seemed the natural thing to do. In March 2009, less than two months after meeting, they proudly published our very first post.  The six bloggers have never again been in the same room at the same time, but have established long-term and mutually-beneficial relationships.

Heather said that if they had not met and harnessed the power of networking, her life would be very different.  While she would still be in marketing she would not have the extensive platform that the blog has provided to her and her blog partners.  It was a life changing experience and it all happened when six people met at a conference, went beyond superficial chit-chat, and then took ownership of the follow-up.

The key to networking at a business conference is what you do when you get home.  Take action.

The next time you are at a business meeting do not spend you time on your iPhone or plotting your early exit.  Instead remember the story of the Savvy B2B Marketing bloggers and discover more about the people around you.  Someone at the event could be the person (or people) who can forever change your life!

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.


Anonymous said...

After the DemandCon conference ended, Thom, a participant came up, hugged me, and thanked us for putting together a conference that helped her reach her professional goals.

When I asked if she'd mind sharing one or two of her goals for the show with me, she astonished me by pulling out a piece of paper with her three goals of the conference written on it.

I had never seen someone write down their goals for attending a show before and what was even more amazing is that there were check marks next to all three. The first goal on her list was, "make three new friends."


Thanks for catalysing not just our conference, but friendship!

Heather Rubesch said...

Thom - So happy to have been able to share the SavvyB2B story with you as an example of how networking can change your life. I published my Top Ten rules for B2B Blogging that I presented on the Social Media Panel Thursday on the Savvy Blog if you know anyone who is struggling to get started in the B2B Blogging world the Savvy Sisters are here to help!