May 2015

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Conference Networking 
Beyond Transactional

To some, the term "networking" is overused and sounds a bit sleazy. We've amplified that by promoting speed networking and boasting about the number of professionals attending our conferences.


We're firm believers that making new connections, and nurturing existing ones, are the most intangible pieces of your attendee value proposition. People go to conferences more because of who else is there than the education offered. They'll pay a premium to be around the right people.


The term networking isn't cutting it anymore. We need to reach higher, .


Some conference organizers use words like "connecting" or "partnering" to differentiate their experience. Our team coined the term "NetWORTHing®" and adopted "Connexity". They both make a conference prospect stop in their tracks and do a double take.

  • NetWORTHing® is when you focus on being a resource (worth) to others. And you expect nothing in return. On the flip side are Network Users...they're only concerned about getting value.
  • Connexity is a term we borrowed from the technology industry. It's slang for the awesome combination of connections and community.

Calling it something different is less critical than being intentional and purposeful in your networking experience design. We need to explain how we are engineering our conference to make sure that the networking promise is different and better.


What steps are you taking to deliver better connexity?

Here's the deal. Networking sucks, and you're probably bad at it. I say that because I believe it myself - I hate networking, and I'm bad at it. So I don't do it. But that doesn't stop me from meeting new people, in a business setting, who sometimes refer projects to my design firm. Wait a minute... Isn't that networking? Not in my mind, and I'll explain to you why. But first, a little story.


When school's over, we lose the regular opportunity to build connections and form friendships over shared experiences. That's a major need that associations ought to serve for their young members. "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?" You might recognize those words as the final line from the 1986 movie Stand By Me. But even if you don't, you can probably relate. 


anchor3NetWORTHing: The New Way to Network At Conferences

Have you ever been a victim of a network drive-by at a conference? Violated by someone who only talks to you if they think you can do something for them? The whole time they've got one eye searching for a more influential target to move to. Today's premium attendee is evaluating if your meeting is going to deliver the networking value they need. Speed networking is not the answer. 


article4The Only Three Networking Rules You Really Need To Know


Networking is a mind game. If you're anything like me, first you have an internal negotiation just to get yourself to the event. Then you have to psych yourself up and issue yourself the reminder that if you make five or six connections, the mission was a resounding success. Instead of wandering around your next event like child lost in the woods, let us guide you in some thought hacks and mental tricks to help boost your confidence and ability to make professional connections that could have a profound impact on your career.



Article5Your Elevator Pitch Stinks.

Here's How To Fix It


Since the 1950s, sales trainers from all over the planet have pushed the elevator speech as the secret to business networking. That was yesterday. "The elevator speech is dead, or at least it should be," says Cliff Suttle, author of The Anti-Elevator Speech. "Elevator speeches are too long, too boring, and too pushy." Business people today have become hyper-sensitive to commercials. If anything even hints at being sales-y or fake sounding, people tune it out. "The goal of networking is not to gather sales leads, but to start business relationships and that begins with a conversation, not a sales pitch," says Suttle.