Year after year, our attendees say that the networking at AIHce EXP is one of the most valuable aspects of attending. Whether you’re just starting on your industrial hygiene/occupational and environmental health and safety (IH/OEHS) professional pathway or want to help the next generation of professionals on their career path, AIHce EXP really is the place to be.
So, do you want to make the most out of your networking experience in Minneapolis? Check out our tips and get ready to mingle!
- Research speakers and attendees ahead of time. Now is the time to get to know your fellow attendees. Between AIHce EXP’s speakers, instructors, and IHs just like you, there are so many people to meet. By doing your research, you’ll be better prepared for networking in person. Looking up someone on LinkedIn or even a simple Google search will help you break the ice and give you something to talk about in person. You can also look speakers up in the AIHce EXP app. Maybe you enjoyed reading a recent article they wrote? Or you happen to have attended the same school or know a former co-worker? The point is, everyone has something in common with someone else, so introduce yourself and expand your network.
- Update your LinkedIn before leaving. Even if you’re not looking for your next career opportunity, your LinkedIn profile is a great way to put your best foot forward when heading into a conference. Make sure to check if it has been updated with your most recent position, that you’ve posted any recent research or publications to your profile, and that all of your information is up-to-date. Think about your profile as your “elevator speech” — what are the most important and interesting things you want someone to know about you and your career?
- Make the most of social media. Connectivity doesn’t stop at LinkedIn. You can connect with attendees on so many other platforms, including the conference app. As you’re doing your research to get to know the speakers, exhibitors, and attendees and checking to see if they’re active on social media, connect with them ahead of time. You can even start a dialogue before you meet in Minneapolis. On Twitter, be sure to follow @AIHA and the #AIHceEXP hashtag.
- Know your value proposition. Have a firm understanding of and confidence in what your experience brings to the IH/OEHS table. Even if you are just starting out in your career, your eagerness, your interests, and your studies all have value. And for seasoned industry professionals, think about what career aspect you are most passionate about and let that set you apart. The most important question you can ask someone is “How can I help you?,” so make sure your value proposition is clear. This is where the research we’ve been hinting at over the past couple of months becomes helpful.
- Build in time for following up at the end of each day. You’re going to be meeting a lot of new people and collecting a lot of business cards during the conference — but so are your fellow attendees. Strike while the iron’s hot, and send a connection/follow-up email during the conference, instead of waiting until you get home. The odds are, the speakers and peers you meet at the conference will be using their downtime to catch up with email and work. Reaching out to them while your interaction is still fresh will make a memorable impression and may even create additional opportunities for face-to-face conversation before you leave Minneapolis.
And most important, remember to be yourself. Just relax and open yourself up to all that networking has to offer. We can’t wait to see you in Minneapolis!