10 top tips for networking at professional events

10 top tips for networking at professional events

Written by Sarah Clancy, Senior Event Manager at AoC Create

Networking can be a daunting task, especially if you are new in the job or to the FE sector. At AoC, we want to make sure that you make your most of your time at this years Annual Conference and Exhibition, so here are our top 10 networking tips:

1. Make a plan before you get to Birmingham and set some goals, so you know exactly what you would like to get out of the event.

2. Before arriving connect with peers and the event on social media. This year we will be running a series of Tweet Chats around some of the hot topics. Follow @AoC_Create on Twitter for the latest news and the hashtag #AoCConf


3. Tell people that you are going on your professional social networks. People can then be sure to look you up and connect with you at the event.

4. Once you are at the ICC in Birmingham step out of your comfort zone. Everyone is there to network, so approach people, introduce yourself and be generous with your knowledge and tips and importantly be a good listener.

5. Attend the fabulous evening social events on offer at the event. These include the Student of the Year Awards and ITN premiere on Monday 19 November (register for your free tickets here), and the Awards Dinner on the Tuesday 20 November. Use these occasions to meet peers and make new contacts and network. Limited places are available so book soon to ensure you don’t miss out.

6. Ask a question in a session. Speakers want to engage in a topic, so don’t be shy about asking a burning question.

7. Take time to explore the exhibition stands and be open minded about new offerings and services available. AoC is the voice of the FE sector so do stop by stand 23 and say hello, let us know how we can enhance our support to you and tell us about your success.

8. Share your time and learnings at the event on social media, include speakers twitter handles and always use the hashtag #AoCConf. You are likely to be connected on LinkedIn or professionally on Twitter with peers in the sector and if something from the event appeals to you it may appeal to your network.

9. Add new connections to LinkedIn and follow up with them in a timely manner and build your network of sector peers to enhance your professional development.

10. Coming soon: our conference app, so make the most of the networking features it offers. Staff will be on hand to help you navigate it.

Most of all enjoy your time there, take time to enhance your professional development, make new contacts and celebrate the success of our fabulous sector!

Do also connect with me on LinkedIn before the event and pop along to the stand to say hello.