You only have a few days in Glasgow for the 2016 Saab Global Operators Conference.
Make them count.
With a little advance planning and virtual scouting, you can not only make the most of your networking time, but you can have some fun, too.
Here are some tips to maximize your efforts, and one thing to avoid.
Determine your goals
SWAG and after-hours drinks are fun, but what do you really want to achieve at the show? If your boss is sending you, make sure you know what he or she hopes you will gain (Networking? Leads?) by attending.
Make a game plan
Saab has published a conference itinerary and calendar or social events. This allows you some advance, virtual scouting and preparation, meaning that you can bypass time-wasters and maximize your efforts.
Set meetings ahead of time
If you have a long list of people you’d like to talk to and only limited time, call or email the people on your list ahead of time to schedule an appointment. Keep in mind, it’s more productive to meet with people earlier in the conference than later. One meeting you will want to make sure to make is with us.
Bring your spouse
The Saab conference has a program for spouses, and making connections through your spouse is a nice, casual way to get your foot in the door. Plus, you and your spouse can check out some of Glasgow’s best tourist destinations.
Get out of your comfort zone
Conferences are a great way to make new connections — but only if you step out of your comfort zone. Sit by people you don’t know. Visit booths and introduce yourself. And once you return home, follow-up with your new acquaintances. Then they will be a familiar face next time.
Avoid tacky SWAG
Cheap, tacky giveaways are the worst, and they usually end up left behind at the hotel or at the bottom of a suitcase. Don’t be tempted to take bad SWAG. Trust us, your spouse back home will thank you. If you are going to grab some event freebees we (of course) recommend you grab some from us, as we will be bringing some pretty cool stuff.
See you at the conference.
— C&L Aviation Group (@CLAviationGroup) May 6, 2016