One thing assistants tell us they like about attending our administrative conference or any of our live training courses is the ability to network with other assistants from various industries and different parts of the world. Networking at administrative and executive assistant conferences is another way to gain new ideas, tips, share best practices, find mentors, and build life-long relationships.
On the other hand, not every assistant (or person) is comfortable about just walking up to someone they don’t know and starting a conversation. They want to meet new people but don’t know what to say. There are many benefits of creating connections. Here are some ideas to help you get started and make the most of your experience when attending an administrative conference.
- Step out of your comfort zone. You have to take the initiative to introduce yourself, shake hands, and start the conversation.
- Know your elevator speech. This is a short one or two sentence statement that describes you or what you do.
- Attend the social events. Maybe you aren’t a social butterfly but those events are a great place to meet new people. That is because people are in a more relaxed environment thus helping them relax and not put up their guard. We also see another side of a person at a social event vs. during the business portion of the conference.
- GET OFF YOUR PHONE during breaks and lunch. Visit with people. You are not going to meet new people when your head is buried in your phone. You also send a message of, “I don’t want to talk to you.” Set aside time to check your messages and emails and then put your phone away.
- Some conversation starter questions are:
- What is your favorite session so far?
- What did you like about what so and so said?
- What was the best idea you got from our before lunch speaker?
- Is this your first administrative conference?
- What interested you most about attending this administrative conference?
As you meet other assistants at the conference, think about if you want to continue staying in touch with that assistant. If so, be sure to get his or her contact information. Then when you get back home, write them a quick email that you enjoyed meeting them. And then be sure to stay in touch with them. Don’t wait for them to get back to you. If we want to have long-lasting relationships, we need to put in the effort.