26 October 2017

Conferencing: Working the (Reception) Room Part II

Conferencing - Just can't get enough! Here on #anthroeverywhere! we've got conference fever and we've been delving into topics all about conferencing. These topics include Writing better Conference Abstracts and crafting better PostersTips for ModeratorsHow to be a great Chair, and most recently, How to Work the Reception Room.

In continuation of these points, we've been exploring and commenting on Diane Darling's, author of The Networking Survival Guide tips and tricks for working a reception room.

In continuation of the list developed in Conferencing: Working the (Reception) Room Part I, we looked at:

  1. Doing your pre-conference research
  2. Travelling light
  3. Walking the walk
  4. Starting at the food table
  5. Who's who
  6. Approaching VIPs pre-talk
  7. Spotting the lone wolves
  8. "And you are?" connection strategies
There are still a few important tips and tricks to add to Darling's list:
  1. Be curious - Darling asks us to avoid pumping those we meet for information just to see if we can 'use' them in our work. Instead, be curious as in, be personable beyond all else. Tying into a point below, you never know if this individual can be a connector to someone who is more relative to your own work. AnthroEverywhere!'take: Got it...be a human being. Check!
  2. Card exchange - Darling puts her own cards in her right pocket and the cards she receives in her left. This avoids having to search through other's cards to find your own.   AnthroEverywhere!'take: Check to see if your department or your supervisor will pay for you to get official cards. If not, or if you'd like to work on your personal brand, check out cheaper alternatives on the internet. 
  3. Get an introduction - Darling argues that connecting to someone new might be easier if you can do it through an intermediary. An introduction functions as an implicit endorsement.  AnthroEverywhere!'take: Ever more the reason to meet with colleagues from other institutions at lunches, in talks, etc. They could potentially introduce you to that big speaker later on in the evening.
  4. Give and take - Darling advocates for you to connect people whenever possible. This makes you look well connected and make others want to return the favour.
  5. It's a wrap - Just like Lee's article for UA from the last two posts, follow-up with your connections in short order. 
Nothing is more frustrating than going to a conference and feeling like you haven't made any real connections. Working Receptions is one more tool for your toolkit when conferencing.

Quick links and further reading: