Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
I’m sure you’re already in countdown to BlogPaws 2012 mode. I know I am! I’ve written about this before, but networking at events such as BlogPaws and events in your hometown is a great way to get your name known, expand your reach and simply make new friends. It’s not always easy to walk into a roomful of strangers, extend your hand and say, “Hi, my name is…” but to make the most of your time at BlogPaws you have to!
Can you imagine having spent a weekend with like minded-pet loving wanna-be writers and walking away from that without having made a connection? Woof no!
Here are five easy tips to incorporate to your weekend to make the most of this conference and other networking you attend:
- Arrive fashionably early. You may think that slipping into a session or mix and mingle late will be the best way to go, but it’s not. Arrive early, scope out a place to stand and make yourself available to the other attendees. It’s also easier to find people to speak with when you’re one of the first.
- Don’t wait for someone to approach you. Take the lead and walk up, introduce yourself, and ask an easy question, such as, “What kind of pet do you have?” There is no more perfect icebreaker than that at a pet conference, right?! Don’t exclude yourself from other groups of individuals, gather your courage and ask, “May I join you?” Pet people are inherently friendly!
- Don’t start the conversation with a pitch BUT have an elevator speech prepared in the event you’re asked, “So what do you do?” Also, be prepared to hand out business cards and ask for cards from the people you’re chatting with.
- What’s your passion? Your Poodle (you may have noticed that is my passion!), your blogging about pet health issues, your love of all things kitten? Ask what your new friends’ passions are and then share yours when asked.
- The best bit of advice? Smile! You may be nervous but don’t let that overshadow your brilliant smile. A smile will make those you meet more amenable to a conversation with you and a smile will also help you relax.
Chances are, you will be overwhelmed with the information you learn at the sessions, the people you meet at the event and with all of the fun you’re going to have, but once the conference is over, don’t forget to follow up! The friends you make at BlogPaws – both two- and four-legged – are friends for a lifetime!