It's conference season again! That means we'll have to brush our teeth (for once), print some new business cards, and get networking!
Of course, with all of these conferences coming up, we're going to need to dive deeper in to the much-dreaded topic of networking. Last time, we discussed how we can better introduce ourselves at game industry events. This month, we'll go a bit deeper into the topic and cover networking at events/conferences both small and large.
Adding value before even walking in to the room
When it comes to getting truly phenomenal results from your networking efforts, 80% of the work is done before you even walk in the room. We're going to put in 2x the work compared to everyone else. This 2x investment can mean 50x better results.
First, to add value to every event you go to, you'll need to do your research. You'll want to find out a few things out before you even walk through those doors.
- Who's going to be there? (is there an invite list like on Meetup?)
- Who am I most likely to meet?
- What questions (if any) do I have for them?
- Do they have LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Twitter profiles?
- Have they done any interviews, lectures, etc?
- What games have they worked on?
Yes, I actually want you to take some time and make a plan based on who may be at the event you're headed off to. This can be done weeks in advance for larger events such as GDC, or just 20 minutes before heading out the door for a local IGDA meetup.
Obviously, for huge events such as GDC, you won't be able to know exactly who's showing up. In cases like this, make a list of some of the people that you'd likely run in to and who you'd like to meet. On top of this, look at who's speaking, look at the IGF nominees, research their creators, and if you want to go the extra mile start sending out emails now to plan some meetings!
Here's what to do:
- Make a plan using the above tips before your next event.
- Write down who is going to be there and who you'd like to meet. I use Evernote for this.
- Write out scripts/questions to the potential people you're going to meet (Similar to what we did in Part 1)
- Show up to any event and talk to people!