Pulse July 2018 - Page 61

If you’ve been to Conference before, get in touch with contacts and friends from previous years and see if they can make any introductions. Even if you’re a first-time attendee, there’s likely someone you know who can help you make connections, whether it’s a former coworker or the owner of the spa across town. 4. Remove logistical barriers. Try not to put the pressure of texting, meeting or organizing on others — the more logistics they have to handle, the more likely they are to say no. Instead, take on the role of organizer and initiator yourself; making interactions easy for others is a surefire way to make a great impression and build a relationship. Professional speaker and author Dorie Clark, writing for the Harvard Business Review, suggests booking a restaurant reser- vation for eight people in advance of a big conference. “Then, as I meet interesting people throughout the conference, I can invite them to join me,” she says, adding that first-timers will appreciate the invitation and that “it also removes a logistical barrier for them, because they’d otherwise have difficulty making plans, since many of the best reservations will have already been snapped up.” 5. Utilize built-in opportunities. The ISPA Conference & Expo isn’t all booths, sales pitches and sessions. Morning workouts with Lawrence Biscontini are not only a great way to start your day, but also a fantastic oppor- tunity to get to know attendees who have similar interests. Don’t skip out on the farewell party at Chase Field, either. Instead, take advantage of the time to tie up loose ends and cultivate any connections you made this year. “Take on the role of organizer and initiator yourself; making interactions easy for others is a surefire way to make a great impression and build a relationship.” Don’t forget about the opportunities leading up to the ISPA Conference & Expo. Conte recommends volunteering for an ISPA committee as a great way to connect with other members year-round. 6. Time to eat = time to meet. Everybody eats, and every meal is an opportunity to socialize. Whether it’s drinks, dinner or even lunch on the Expo floor, try to ask a few people to eat with you every day. If you don’t have dinner plans, try dining at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix’s restaurant, the District American Kitchen & Bar, where you can expect to run into scores of ISPA attendees. For something more non- committal, the hotel bar is a great place to find ISPA Conference & Expo attendees who happen to drop in for a drink. If you can, try to book restaurant reservations well before you arrive in Phoenix. It’s mentioned above how making reser- July 2018 ■ PULSE 59