We are now a few weeks post SCALE Music City 2019 and while you were at the conference we know you had a wonderful time and made a lot of connections. Some of them were likely re-connections and this year you are promising yourself it won’t be another year before you talk to them again; and some of them are brand new.
One of the most important things you can give yourself, as a professional, is the gift of networking. This is why we have written more than one post on this topic. Of course, those primarily focused on pre-event and during-event connection. While we will revisit that here, we at TSLMS also want to make sure that you take every possible opportunity to follow up and utilize the connections you made while you were at SCALE. After all, they can be the boon of your professional career.
A SCALE ThrowBack: Pre-Conference Networking
As we noted in our piece, “Pre-Conference Networking:”
According to MD Magazine most medical professionals do not learn the same networking skills that many other professionals do. However, “Many non-traditional opportunities in the medical field are not widely advertised. Finding these types of opportunities requires creative problem solving. Often, doctors who hold leadership roles or who have non-clinical jobs explain that they were asked or invited to such positions. This can only happen if those who are hiring for such positions know you and have a strong sense of what you can bring to the table. And that often requires networking.” There are other reasons to network aside from simply getting a new position, including staying abreast of trends and technologies, building a professional support network, and being able to have an influence in your field… Also, make sure that you have your elevator pitch down. You should not sound like a robot when you are telling people what you do, but you should be able to seamlessly tell people about yourself in 10-15 seconds. Make sure that you show more interest in who they are and what they do than you do in them learning about you. And on that note, think about what you can offer to people at the conference. Make yourself an asset, instead of asking for things. This will open you up to opportunities that you otherwise might not have and will make people seek you out and remember you.
Above all, though, we pointed out then, and in our other piece, “How to Make the Most of Your Time at SCALE 2019” the post conference networking you do it the most important.
There is a site, Conference Monkey, that lists references, and provides tips on conferences in every possible field around the world. They are without any doubt the leading experts on all things conference. Here is their advice on how do post-conference networking right:
Networking isn’t just an activity that you do while you’re at the conference. In fact, in order to be effective, you need to work just as hard on networking after the conference has finished. Networking after a conference will help people to remember you and increases the likelihood of a project or collaboration coming together… When you’re at a conference, it can become a blur of new people, new ideas, and new places. When you’re meeting tens or even hundreds of people over the span of a few days, it is extremely difficult to remember every person. Even when you have a good rapport with someone, there’s a risk you won’t remember each other’s specific details once you both get back home…. The way to combat this natural forgetfulness is to make sure that you follow up with all of your contacts after the conference. In the few days after you get home from the conference, make a list of everyone that you spoke to or whose contact details you received. For each person, decide if meeting them was a friendly chat sort of situation, or whether you specifically want to make this person a part of your network. If you do want to network, now is the time to start sending emails to these people.
Your follow up emails can be simple – even just saying hello and that you enjoyed meeting them will help them to remember you – but it’s even better if you use your email to bring up a particular subject that you discussed together. Maybe you mentioned a paper that they hadn’t heard of but were interested in, or there was an upcoming event that you found you were both going to attend. In these cases, you can attach the paper or mention the event in your email to help solidify the communication relationship between you. It’s also obviously useful to connect with as many people on social media as possible, especially a platform specific to jobs like Linkedin. You’ll be able to connect with people easily and have all your new contacts in one place.
There are other little things you can do to help yourself follow up with all the people you met and saw at SCALE Music City.
Little Things You Can Do To Help Your Post-Conferencing Networking
Find the time now to go through all of the contacts you made at SCALE Music City, and we know there are a lot of them. Call or email or send a LinkedIn message to every single one of them. Make it personal and show that you are interested in them and their well being. Remember one thing you talked about with them, or one personal detail, and include that. Contextualize the note to them by asking how they are, or follow up with something that helps them out. Most of all, make the communication a two-way street and stay in touch and become friendly. Focus on a common interest or goal. Work on that connection and build it so that if you could ever use something from them you feel you can comfortably ask – and in turn, be there if they need anything.