HxGN LIVE is fast approaching and if you’re anything like me, you’re a bit—well, let’s be honest, you’re over-the-top excited. It’s a chance to get out of the office, change the scenery and learn something new. With 2016 marking my fourth HxGN LIVE experience, I consider myself a bit of a veteran these days *pops collar* and am therefore somewhat certified (by way of participation only) to share best practices.
Networking. It’s one of the most touted takeaway benefits of a professional conference like HxGN LIVE, but quite honestly, networking in and of itself can be intimidating. No, not the word on paper—but the act of networking. And if you’re a lone attendee from your organisation travelling to the conference as a party of one, networking may seem all the more daunting. Fear not. I am rolling out my five sure-fire tips to make the most out of networking at HxGN LIVE.
So networking really isn’t your thing, eh? Give yourself a head start by connecting early. Follow HxGN LIVE on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and don’t just watch conversations unfold—join them! See someone tweeting about the conference? Well, “@” them , introduce yourself, ask about their experience or what they found most valuable. Hey, you never know—you may have the chance to ‘put a face with the handle’ upon your arrival!
Download the App
No, this isn’t just a plug for the HxGN LIVE Mobile App, but even if it were—this would still benefit you. Besides having easy access to the session schedule and event times, the app puts you in direct contact with other attendees. Maybe you don’t know anyone by face or by name or by Twitter handle … yet. The app is a great starting place. Take in the live stream of photos and status updates and reach out to fellow app users/conference goers and suggest a meet-up. Maybe they work in your specific industry and shares your specific job function. The HxGN LIVE Mobile App is available now. Download it then and begin discovering who you could get to know!
Be Open to the Immersion
A pre-event cocktail hour? A track-sponsored party later? Go! Yes, you may be a little tired from travel or a lengthy day of sessions, but be open to immersing yourself in environments where you will find other professionals like yourself. Make the time and stay open to attending any and all conference events. Room service is appealing, but having a few noshes at a conference event may prove more valuable in the long run. Conversations build connections and you can’t have many if you’re sequestered in your room.
Play the Games
HxGN LIVE is designed for you to network. At its every turn, the conference pools attendees into settings where hundreds of people have to co-mingle. One of the best displays of this is Activate!, the onsite engagement program that boils down to conference games. Listen to me: Play. The. Games. Some are cheesy (nothing wrong with a little cheese, right?), but by participating, you have the chance to win prizes and, at the end of the day, the games put you in touch with other conference attendees. You meet people, you laugh, you problem solve. What more can you ask for in terms of meeting your goal to network? Who knows, you may enjoy yourself too.
Stay in touch with the connections you make. Follow them on Twitter, become Facebook friends or send a short and sweet (not canned) email to them after you leave letting them know how cool it was to meet.
That’s all I’ve got, people. This is my five-step blueprint for succeeding at networking. What’s most important here is not that you stick strictly to these five steps, but that you feel empowered to make the most out of HxGN LIVE by networking with your peers. Let this conference be your gateway to getting to know more about Hexagon’s solutions. It doesn’t have to feel intimidating.
HxGN LIVE is designed with you in mind. I learned this after my first year of attendance in 2014. And while I work for Hexagon, by connecting with attendees onsite, I was better able to navigate the ins and outs of my job- now that’s shaping smart change.
I look forward to Anaheim, meeting new people and witnessing you shine like the networking stars you are!
Senior Marketing Communications Specialist
Stephanie L. Johnson is Senior Marketing Communications Specialist with the Hexagon Corporate Marketing team. She is enthused to meet and collaborate with other Hexagon Thought Leaders, contact her via e-mail at Stephanie.Johnson@Hexagon.com.