Careers are oftentimes forged when people meet the right folks at the right times. This is especially true in the technology industry. All of you who are a part of this industry know very well how important it is to stay well connected and interact with your peers. Of course, tech events are where you get to meet your colleagues and get an insight into what they are currently working on. These conferences can be really valuable when it comes to your potential career opportunities. So, you have to know how to prepare yourself well and take the best out of these events.
Why do you want to go?
You have to ask yourself this question before you go anywhere. Take a good look at the event’s keynotes and workshops and compare that to your priorities in the office and your personal ambitions. How do you benefit from that event? Is it for your personal gain or for work? Consult your boss and colleagues who aren’t attending the event and figure out why they decided not to come and whether there are some particular breakouts that would benefit you and your team at work. These all serve to provide you with the reasons of why you should or should not attend.
Look at the list of attendees
The value of an event also lies in the list of people who will be there. That’s why you should look at the list of attendees and see if you can spot someone who garners interests or someone who you already know. You will most likely see some interesting names there so make sure to do some networking while you’re there. Also, you should solidify existing professional relationships. Don’t just rush to meet the new contacts, devote some time to your existing ones. If you can’t find the list of attendees, reach out to your colleagues on LinkedIn and similar social media platforms. Enquire there about the event and you’ll probably find people who are attending.
Download available software for the event
Oftentimes tech events have their own apps for smart devices that will help you navigate easier through the event space, find your favorite speakers and other stuff that could be of use to you. On top of that, many apps of this kind have a schedule of the event on them. You can take advantage of that by creating your own schedule with the help of that one. Maybe there are some segments of the event or conference you’d like to avoid. Your time is precious and you probably can’t waste it on things that are not interesting to you. That’s why you should check out whether there is some event software available to attendees. If there is, it’s there probably to help you get the most out of the event.
You are there to learn, not to compete
It’s fine to feel competitive when you’re in the room full of people from other companies that are probably the rivals of your company. However, you should never allow that feeling to overwhelm you during the event. Look, no one at the conference would be so friendly in a normal, everyday environment. However, at the venue, you all have to mingle and be friendly. Why? You are there to learn and take something valuable out of each other. Even though it shouldn’t be strictly business. Well, it kind of is. It is a professional event, after all. Right?
Do not forget to connect!
Say that you’ve just met a colleague at the event. You’ve exchanged a few words, you’ve realized that the person you talked to can be potentially valuable. What is the worst thing that you can do after meeting such a person? The worst thing would be to do nothing. You can’t afford to forget valuable contacts. That’s why you should make it a habit to connect to these individuals as soon as you’re done talking to them. Find the person on LinkedIn or Twitter, trade contact info, do everything to remain in contact. You never know how valuable someone can be.
Are you ready for the event now? Well, there are some things beside the ones mentioned here but these are your top priority. Well, they should be your top priority. Prepare well, do the research and go. Remember, contacts are valuable, the event is there for you to learn something that can benefit both you personally and your company.