<aside> 🔑 The purpose of this playbook is to help you grow your network at events and conferences.

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When to use this playbook

This playbook is most useful if you're attending in-person events and conferences. However, COVID has created many online events and opportunities that are much more accessible. The "Pre-Conference Planning" and "Post-Conference" sections can be applied to online events. The main difference with online events/conferences is there are fewer opportunities to network. So, you'll need to think differently and create your own!

Pre-Conference Planning

  1. Do your research. Understand the topic very well, read about recent news, and research the speakers.
  2. Write down goals. Create measurable goals to achieve during the event. You should what you're driving towards and know if you've been successful.
  3. Be early. The best time to meet people and develop relationships is before the event starts.
  4. Wear what makes you confident. This doesn't mean wear a suit. Wear something you feel good in. If you wear a suit and tie, you're likely doing it to impress others, which will make you even more nervous. Be comfortable, be confident. Don't over dress.
  5. Know your 1-2 liner intro. Make an introduction for yourself. This intro should highlight your interests and also impress the other person. You don't want to be "some highschool kid". Example: "Hi, I'm Bonnie and I'm looking into building algorithmic trading models using machine learning."
  6. Contact speakers you're interested in. If there are speakers that you are interested in meeting, try contacting them ahead of the event using LinkedIn or email. Remember that you will be competing for their attention at the event and having established contact ahead of time will give you a leg up. Always try to meet them BEFORE their talk, not after. Your goal should be to setup a follow up meeting with them after the conference because during the conference they will likely be too busy to have a long conversation.

In-Conference

  1. Embrace discomfort. Actively push yourself outside your comfort zone by separating yourself from your friends. Venture on your own. Make the first move. Feel awkward.
  2. How to start a conversation: "Hi, I'm Bonnie. If you don't mind me asking, what do you do?" After they respond, go into your 1-liner, "that's really interesting! I'm actually looking into developing algorithmic trading models using machine learning." Remember, be confident, be interesting, and show value - Boss Mentality!
  3. **How to enter an existing conversation: "**Hi, mind if I join the conversation?" They'll likely say, "sure". Then you introduce yourself with your 1-liner,"I'm Bonnie and I'm looking into building algorithmic trading models using machine learning. What are you talking about?"
  4. SMILE! Seriously, most people don't smile. Have positive energy, people will want to talk to you!
  5. Connect on LinkedIn. After each conversation, ask to connect with them on LinkedIn and add them on the spot. *Bonus: if they're really interesting, ask them for their email and get their card.