Networking expert and conference MC Porter Gale asks: You invest your money, but are you investing in relationships? By Porter Gale (Author, Your Network Is Your Net Worth & Women 2.0 Conference MC)
The Women 2.0 Conference is around the corner. Are you ready? Do you want to make new connections? Are you trying to build a foundation of contacts essential to launch and scale a startup? If so, below are some tips to help you connect and meet and greet so you can make the most of Women 2.0.
Be The Best You Possible
The old way to build a network involved climbing a ladder while pushing others down or to the side for individual benefit. Thankfully, networking has evolved. Today, it’s not just about "who you know," it’s about "who you are becoming as a person." In today’s world, what’s important is no longer power plays but what you value and how—and with whom—you want to get there. Bring your "A Game" to the conference. Be prepared. Be rested. And, be interested.
Connect Based on Shared Interests
By just walking through the doors of the conference, you will have a lot in common with the other attendees. When you focus your efforts on meeting people that share your passions, your networking should feel conversational and not awkward or confrontational.
Over the years, I’ve found that companies and people with lucid and succinctly described visions and passions are more likely to succeed than those with unclear or highly complex visions. Are you ready to share your idea? Do you have a simple, focused passion? To help you more quickly connect, I’ve created a simple test that I call 'The Funnel Test'. Jot your Funnel Test on a napkin pre-Women 2.0 to more easily connect.
- Step 1: Define your three greatest passions (or three core company attributes. For example, I’m passionate about Health, Technology and Storytelling. I readily chat with others about those topics. What topics are you ready to discuss? What three attributes would you like others to know about you or your start-up?
- Step 2: Define your tone. How do you present yourself? Are you quiet and reserved? Witty? Bold? Irreverent? Fill in the space below your passion circles with a selected word for your tone. How will you convey your desired tone or personality?
- Step 3: Define your core purpose or idea. What are you trying to accomplish? Write your idea in 20 words or less. Use the Funnel Test to help guide your activities and conversations at Women 2.0.
Remember “Give Give Get”
I believe the key to building authentic connections is helping others when you don’t expect anything in return. How will you help others at the conference? Small actions can make a big difference. “How can I help?” Think about the we not just the me and you will have greater success.
Consider Three Degrees of Separation
Move over Kevin Bacon, the world is now three degrees of you. As you move through the conference hall at Women 2.0, remember that because of technology the world is in essence getting smaller and smaller. We are all connected via a digital web and every action that you have, online and off, has a ripple effect. We have larger spheres of influence and larger networks that our entrepreneurial peers of the past. So, think before you act, tweet, pin or post.
Want to meet amazing people working in tech? Join us at the conference.
Photo by Elvina Beck. About the guts blogger: Porter Gale is a marketing expert, startup advisor and public speaker. She is the author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth and the former VP of Marketing for Virgin America. At present, she is an advisor for Rocket Fuel, AirPR, Sumazi, Here On Biz, Routehappy.com, N3TWORK, Hint Water, WePay, ZOZI and Zuberance.