Five networking tips for ICAS conferences

By Alex Burden, ICAS

4 September 2017

Attending an ICAS or industry conference? Here are our top tips for making the most of the network opportunities on offer.

The vast majority of us will attend a conference at some point in our working lives, and they provide key moments to meet face to face with people who have an interest or stake in your sector.

You’ve received the invite, booked your place and have already pulled up Google Maps to check the best travel route, but have you stopped to think about why you are attending?

Are you interested in the speakers, or is there an important update you would like to hear? Have you set personal goals or aims for participating in the conference and interacting with attendees?

Five tips to try at your next conference:

1. Plan a few key activities or goals for the conference

It’s a great idea to spend five minutes looking through the conference agenda and pinpointing the elements that hold the most value for you in terms of career development, strengthening networks, or exploring new avenues. Try to connect professional development goals to the conference agenda.

2. Participate in the workshops

Workshops are skill-building activities so get involved whenever you can. Your prior goal-planning will determine which workshops will hold the most value for you, or lay the groundwork for future development. 

3. Get talking and collect contacts

You never know what opportunities or ideas might arise out of a conversation: recruiters have been known to attend conferences. There is also no harm in asking if you can connect with someone on CA Connect, Twitter or LinkedIn, for example.

4. Ask questions

Maybe you’ve been thinking of setting up an informal networking group, or social media forum to discuss work matters; a conference provides an ideal place to garner interest from peers and help you develop your own suggestions.

5. Summarise what you have learned

Take a few minutes to reflect on what you have learned during the conference. You can create a summary for your colleagues or managers who did not attend, and highlight any great ideas.

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