The conference is not for the faint-hearted. It does not matter whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. To extract maximum benefit from any event is a difficult task.

It’s one thing to go home with records and useful knowledge, and quite another to leave, having established useful contacts and contacts.

All the magic of conferences is in people. But many marketers are tormented by questions:

“With whom to speak? What to say? When to approach? How to get in touch after dating? “

To answer these questions, the Content Marketing Institute turned to colleagues. At the conference Content Marketing World 2016 and CMWorld 2017 they asked the participants:

“What is the best advice on establishing links at conferences you can give?”

As a result, they received 101 responses from speakers, staff, leading experts and other visitors. Here’s what they managed to find out:

5 facts about communication at conferences


1. All are afraid

Remember, you are not alone. All are afraid, worry and doubt: not only beginners, but also professionals. Take a deep breath and act boldly.

2. We are all people

It does not matter who you decide to approach: the usual visitor or the lead reporter, we are all people. Compliments, curiosity and smiles help to melt the ice.

3. Everyone wants to be polite

Perhaps this rule does not work for everyone, but with such “exceptions” it is better not to communicate at all.

The goal of any conference is to learn, grow and establish connections. If you want to be part of the event, you will be welcomed with open arms.

4. All are of value

In fact, you never know who you are talking to. You can make a list of people with whom you want to communicate in advance. But most of the dialogues will still be unplanned.

Ask questions, show interest and give all attention to the interlocutor.

5. All communicate in social networks

Social networks are an integral part of modern conferences. Many events have their own hashtags, create separate pages and groups on different platforms, as well as entire applications.

Share experiences, make selfies, mention new friends, publish your favorite quotes.

Below you will find a complete list of 101 advice from marketers that will help you overcome fears and get the most out of any conference. Perhaps some of them will seem obvious to you, but not all are able to apply in practice what seems so simple in theory. Other recommendations will surprise you and make you smile.


1. Simon Geisler: “Remember. Put on your stupid hat. And if you’re really smart, use company branding. ”

2. Anna W. Yunker: “To meet someone, wait for a break and discuss the topics that interest him.”

3. Elaine Ball: “During the main session, do not sit staring at your gadget. Look back and say: Hello! ”

4. Andy Crestodina: “After the dating try to find a person in LinkedIn. You, for sure, have common contacts. ”

5. Berrak Sarikaya: “Keep in touch … do not just send an email message and create a community in Slack.”

6. Bill Sushard (Bill Cushard): “If you notice someone and are in a group, go and say hello and invite me to join you.”

7. Loes van Dokkum: “Go to the first row to the most sociable people! This is where the most interesting things happen. ”

8. Dominik Grau (Dominik Grau): “Organize the group. Meet every day. This will help you communicate on a personal level. ”

9. Ann Handley: “Come here. Say hello. Communicate. And you will become best friends. ”

10. Rob Haber: “Do not concentrate too much on work, otherwise the situation will begin to heat up.”

11. Jason Schemmel: “Remember that all people around you have one goal: to study and communicate.”

12. Pam Didner: “Visit additional meetings if the main session does not meet your expectations. Do not rush and enjoy! ”

13. Rand Fishkin: “Create something to attract people, then you do not have to contact yourself.”

14. Nicci Micco (Nicci Micco): “Be real. Be interested in the passion of the interlocutor. Curiosity leads to cooperation. ”

15. Randy Bernard: “People will not care how much you know until they understand that you are interested.”

16. Michelle Linn (Michele Linn): “Look for empty seats at the table during lunch breaks and occupy them!”

17. Roger C. Parker (Roger C. Parker): “After the event, introduce yourself to the speakers, praise their presentation, blog, book.”

18. Jay Acunzo: “Do not try to establish useful connections. Ask more questions and be interested. ”

19. Ehsan Khodarahmi: “Do not try to inspire. Tell us who inspires you. ”

20. Shannon Waldschmidt (Shannon Waldschmidt): “Take a walk. Do not stay in the comfort zone. ”

21. Lisa Dougherty: “Make a statement. Find your zest. It’s getting people to come up and talk to you. ”

22. Joe Lazauskas (Joe Lazauskas): “Everyone is as frightened as you are. When people are frightened, they drink … so drink. ”

23. Paula Monroy: “Use the conference application to communicate not only with the speakers, but also with other participants … especially in LinkedIn.”

24. Becky Brooks: “Smile as often as possible, even if you begin to feel uncomfortable. It looks attractive … not frightening. ”

25. Mike Meyers (Mike Meyers): “Use the conference application, not just the social network. This will help you feel part of the event. ”

26. Amanda Subler: “Make eye contact, smile and start communicating.”

27. Michael Brenner: “Ask people if they want anything to drink. Very simple and polite beginning of communication. ”

28. Lisa Loeffler (Lisa Loeffler): “Meet with interesting people before the conference. set the date and time. ”

29. Kelly Hungerford (Kelly Hungerford): “Create folders in Dropbox before the session. Upload your images to them to quickly distribute them in social networks. ”

30. Keegan Vance Forte: “First, learn more about your interlocutors, not only to be polite, but also to better remember them.”

31. Zarina Stanik: “Make compliments and establish eye contact … it is better to choose for this time a lunch or coffee break, so that communication was more natural.”

32. Derrick Haynie: “If you really want to attract the attention of the speaker, talk to him last.”

33. Tyler Logtenberg: “At the end of each day, send messages to people you met. This will help you to remember better. ”

34. C. D. Houston: “Approach and share your observation … the first thing that comes to mind. It’s nothing bad to seem strange! ”

35. Kirk Manley: “Always sit next to someone. Find empty places and occupy them, do not hide in the remote corners of the room. ”

36. David Reimherr (David Reimherr): “Always go to parties, especially the night. People relax after a glass of martini … or three. ”

37. Justin Shellenberger: “Share something trivial through the application and hashtags. This will help to start a conversation. ”

38. Kyle Akerman: “Meet someone in private and introduce it to someone else, whether it’s your friend or new friend.”

39. Kate Volman: “Sign up for the members’ accounts before the conference, get acquainted with their content and start building relationships. Then talk face to face. ”

40. Amanda Gant: “Repeat the names of people immediately after meeting them.”

41. Ashley Stryker (Ashley Stryker): “Bring a couple of markers with you to make notes on business cards.”

42. Susan Moeller: “Always think about what you can offer your interlocutor. Offer the opportunity … and not one more request. ”

43. Carmen Hill: “Do not be shy. Speak with strangers first. It’s not always easy, but worth it. ”

44. David Anthony (David Anthony): “Photograph business cards, they are often lost or appear in a washing machine.”

45. Erika Heald (Erika Heald): “Look for people on Twitter. Look, do you have any friends in common? Begin to communicate before the conference to make friends. ”

46. Billy Connolly: “Find out something about the person with whom you are going to communicate, and surprise him.”

47. Mari Smith: “Study the biography of people, determine what unites you. Talk or write to them. Hurray! ”

48. Marlene Oliveira: “Come to the event early and sit next to a person who looks set to communicate.”

49. Maureen Jann: “Communication at conferences often boils down to” give, “” give me, “” give! ” Come up from the other side and offer something of value. ”

50. Ben H. Rome: “Use your uniqueness to establish contacts with others. You can find with them much in common. ”

51. Jeremy Bednarski (Jeremy Bednarski): “Almost everyone you want to talk to, also want to communicate. Take the first step. ”

52. Kevin Christie: “Ask in the conference application who is near you.”

53. Gretta van Riel: “Your energy is remembered better than words.”

54. Jay Bear: “Be brief. Ask a question and get an answer. ”

55. Jeremy Miller: “Show enthusiasm and passion.”

56. Christoph Trappe (Christoph Trappe): “Keep talking about the event in social networks, and then meet with those who answered you online. Do not rely solely on luck. ”

57. Silkhe Fuenmayor: “Express your opinion and challenge. This will add value to the discussion. ”

58. Andrew Davis: “Study the content of the speakers, comment on it and show what you are interested in.”

59. Bhupinder Nayyar: “Show genuine curiosity and be creative in communicating with the speakers. Offer them ice cream. ”

60. Brittany Berger (Brittany Berger): “Always ask why the interviewee came to the conference.”

61. Robert Rose: “Try not to bother your companion.”

62. Shayla Price: “With the help of the application, record short, informative audio performances.”

63. Nathan Chan: “Always end the conversation with a proposal to help.”

64. Kristina Halvorson: “Be confident, frank and brief!”

65. Rachel Pedersen (Rachel Pedersen): “You never know who you’re talking to … so pay attention to the interviewee!”

66. John Hall (John Hall): “Everyone wants to ask for a favor. Stand out by offering help. ”

67. Jenifer Walsh: “Link your questions to the presentation of the speaker. Use humor. ”

68. Marcus Sheridan: “Remember, for many speakers, the honor is to be worried by participants.”

69. Johannes Ceh (Johannes Ceh): “Offer the interlocutors delicacies from their country.”

70. Bill Widmer: “Many people will prefer your interest, not stories about yourself.”

71. Pawan Deshpande: “Learn the unique fact about the interlocutor and mention it in conversation.”

72. Jacqueline Jensen: “Start with a value proposition to build confidence.”

73. Justin Levy: “Do not be afraid to talk to the speakers. You do not distract them and do not look ridiculous. ”

74. Claire TrĂ©vien: “Start communicating with the message: ‘Hello. It seems that both of us participate in the conference of H. ”

75. Mordecai Holtz: “Take photos with everyone you meet, write an article about them and share your discoveries.”

76. Ryan Foland (Ryan Foland): “Talk about the event in social networks, use hashtags, quotes, conclusions … anything!”

77. Joe Griffin: “Do not try to completely plan every day, so you will deprive yourself of many opportunities and meetings.”

78. Lee Odden: “Offer the speaker a service, a gift or a snack.”

79. Hans van Gent: “Be a link. Organize an exclusive event, meet the guests and introduce them to each other. ”

80. Maneesh Sethi: “Remember before the conference. Send out greeting cards or videos to everyone you want to meet. ”

81. Nathaniel Schooler: “Quality is always better than quantity. No matter who your interlocutors are, it’s important who they know. ”

82. Heidi Cohen: “Do not forget to thank the speakers who helped you, and leave a deserved review!”

83. Karla Campos: “If you come to the conference with a friend, sometimes separate, otherwise people will stop distinguishing you.”

84. Les Dossey: “Distract from the outside world and switch to the interlocutor. Ask the right questions to learn more about it. ”

85. Magu Goswami: “Talk to people who are not facing long lines. They are more likely to want to communicate and will be able to offer you something of value. ”

86. Gigi Rodgers: “Starting out with a person, ask what made him feel happy this week.”

87. Bobby Umar: “Always find out how you can help.”

88. Mike Alton: “Be prepared for unplanned dialogues and open to new opportunities.”

89. Jeff Higgins: “Remember that marketing and communication are two different things, friends are not lids.”

90. Leonard Kim: “If you create a unique personal brand, everyone will want to communicate with you.”

91. Brett Berhoff: “Speak 20% of the time and listen 80% of the time.”

92. Stanley Nnoromele: “Everybody has a valuable story. You can not know for sure until you ask. Just ask and listen! ”

93. Matthias Riedl: “Bring a Hawaiian guitar to the conference! All together sing the folk songs of your interlocutors. It unites! ”

94. Irene Koehler: “Create Twitter lists of participants and speakers, share them, adding a hashtag of the event. This will simplify communication during and after the conference. ”

95. Ivan Kreimer (Ivan Kreimer): “Imagine the people you know to each other.”

96. Daniel Kingsley Daines-Hutt (Daniel Kingsley Daines-Hutt): “Stay close to the food and the interlocutors will find you.”

97. Larry Minsky (Larry Minsky): “In large rooms, take remote corners … people at the entrance are often distracted.”

98. Casandra Campbell (Casandra Campbell): “Do not try to get to know everyone. Establish meaningful relationships and long-term relationships. ”

99. Aaron Orendorff: “Offer something, but do not ask. Do not try to meet only the “right” people. ”

100. Nadya Khoja: “Ask the interlocutors if they go to parties. If they answer negatively, ask them for alcoholic fliers. ”

101. Joe Pulizzi: “Subscribe to the hashtag of the conference and honestly answer the questions of the participants.”

All people have different approaches and views on communication. You, for certain, will find in this list those tips that will suit you.


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