This weekend is the start of NamesCon Global in Las Vegas. It is regarded to be the biggest domain conference of the year.
Whether you are attending that domain conference or another one, or a local domainer meet, here are 3 top tips to benefit the most from a domain conference. These 3 tips are intertwined.
Learn. Connect. Repeat.
Whether you are attending a session, meeting someone one-on-one, or visiting the booth of a company, you want to be constantly trying to learn something new. This may be about the topic of the session or about the person or about their experience, or how a company can help your goals. Sometimes you have an opportunity to meet the speaker of a session. In order to learn you must first of all listen. Second ask good questions such as, “What would your recommend about…”, or “How did you get involved in…”, or “What would you credit your success to?” But be careful, don’t sound nosy. Be conversational and friendly. Share something about yourself as well that is appropriate and relevant.
This is the most important part of attending a domain conference. Connecting is another word for networking, which I much prefer. Networking sounds very cold and self-serving. Connecting sounds more personal and two-way. Connecting takes more effort and time. It is more than just interchanging of business cards. Obviously that is the first contact at a domain conference, or any conference, which is expected by everyone. Interchanging cards is the best first opportunity you get, but you want to look for further ways to connect after that if possible. If you want to learn how to connect, see the first tip, learn.
At a domain conference like NamesCon there are dinners, receptions, gatherings, and parties, that allow for more opportunities to connect. Also as the conference winds down people are more relaxed and it makes for further opportunities to connect, if you had missed the chance earlier.
If you connect with someone, whether a person or a company, that aligns with your goals then you want to pursue further relationship.
You want to make as many contacts as possible at the domain conference. The ideal is to learn about and connect with as many people as possible. But be sure to do this without appearing to brush anyone off. Be genuinely interested in those that take the time to speak with you. Realistically, due to time restraints, with the majority you will only have time to exchange business cards. So make sure your business cards are well thought out.