In a few weeks I'll be spending some time at BarCamp Nashville, THE place for sharing all things internet, entrepreneurial, and media in Nashville – all that and it's free. But since I'm new to Nashville, it's the first time in a long time that I'll show up somewhere and literally not know a single soul. Here are my 3 steps to get the most out of BarCamp Nashville or any networking event even if you're the newbie in the crowd.
- Focus in on at least one session that offers something you REALLY need to know more about. Show up early and introduce yourself to the speaker, have your questions in mind for the follow-on Q&A time, and be sure to introduce yourself to other participants as they come in the door. It's a great way to get a feel for the type of people attending, their level of expertise, and a sure way to bring home a good “take-away” for your business.
- Spend some time in between sessions meeting people – usually what happens in the “break” area or the bar is at least as interesting and useful as what happens in the sessions. So plan your calendar such that you can just hang around – don't plan to scoot in, listen, and scoot out. You've missed most of the fun and half the good content and contacts if you do!
- Stay alert for what you can contribute. You'll get to listen to the Q&A's in every session you go to – these are fabulous places to get ideas for new things to offer to the people you serve. If you hear the same question or complaint coming up over and over again, you know you've got a hot topic on your hands. Come home and ponder how you can add that to your mix of products or services. Maybe it's a great idea for a joint venture if it's expertise you don't currently have, so be sure to think outside the box.
I'm honored that I was invited (even as a newbie) to be a part of BarCamp Nashville's blog tour. If you missed yesterday's post by Dan R. Morris, click here to read Nashville Bar Camp Will Open Your Eyes. And make sure to follow this blog tour tomorrow, too. Look for William Grigg's post “Speaking at BarCamp?“. And if you're at the Cadillac Ranch for BarCampNashville, be sure to look me up!