Networking: The Power Boost for Your COLLABORATE 12 Experience! By Anne Ristau Managing Principal Instructor, IT Convergence and COLLABORATE 12 Marketing Chair Hotel booked, registration complete, flights confirmed. You’re all set for COLLABORATE 12: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community in fabulous Las Vegas (April 22-26)! Now, what can you do to deepen the value of your conference experience? How can you extend the educational benefit of the event by making lasting connections with others who become trusted resources? COLLABORATE is packed with just such active and engaged participants who want to contribute to your success. So get ready to make the most of your week in Las Vegas. Order more business cards. Do your homework. Arrive ready to network.
Use the tools. My Show Planner is the online tool for COLLABORATE attendees to search session offerings, build and manage their custom schedules and also learn more about the companies participating in the Exhibitor Showcase. My Show Planner will help you identify the sessions you wish to attend. This is a great tool that will let you double-book yourself, so if one session is not quite what you expected, you can pop over to your second choice. This tool helps OAUG, 34
Before the Show: Make a Plan
too, as we are able to anticipate Exhibitors are also great participation and move to a larger connectors – share your experiences room if the audience outgrows the with them. It’s likely they know other original room. users with similar challenges and Through My Show Planner, you can help you network. Using the can also explore exhibitor offerings appointment-setting feature in My to locate those that meet your Show Planner saves you time and gives specific interests and then pre-book you focused opportunities for appointments with them in their discussion, as opposed booths. The value of your to aimless wandering COLLABORATE experience through a very large You already know can increase exponentially and very busy the people from by taking a thoughtful, exhibit hall. your office. Meet deliberate approach to Tweet to meet. a new buddy. your time in the Exhibitor The conference Showcase. This is how you conversation is can meet industry experts and already happening on potential business partners who can Twitter. Follow the conference make a significant difference in the hashtag, #C12LV, to identify those in success of your next project. the Oracle Applications community
registrations early so you are sure who are attending COLLABORATE. to have a spot. Last year many men Find presenters, panelists, attendees, found it enlightening, saying things like, exhibitors, media and others. Reach “Wow, I had no idea my wife is juggling out to them with a follow. Let them so much.” know you’ll be at the conference and Take advantage of the would like to say hello. Try to myriad Geographic User set some appointments Groups (Geo) and Special for coffee or drinks in Interest Group (SIG) advance. Read what Use breaks to meetings taking place. they’re blogging or get to know the Geos meet Tuesday tweeting about to have people sitting afternoon at 4:30 plenty of conversationaround you. p.m. Check My Show starting material. Planner (search for session Find the networking type: Geo Meeting) to see if programs. Use the conference attendees from your area are getting website (collaborate.oaug.org) to together then. Likewise, search session find out about the special events type “SIG Meeting” for the schedule of and networking opportunities that meetings taking place throughout the are scheduled throughout the week. week. These are great forums to share Everyone is invited to a Women in conversations focused on your specific Technology panel discussion and interests and hot topics. In addition, lunch — the perfect venues to make many SIGs have online sessions connections with other intelligent, throughout the year, so COLLABORATE active women in the field. Pay attention is a chance to see what is available to whether these programs require beyond the conference. pre-registration and tackle those
There are more networking events and features planned, so be sure to watch the conference website and your inbox for details!
During the Show
Get in the zone. Pick your topics, pick up your networking buttons (see page 36), hit the events and mingle in the OAUG Networking Zone. Select from up to ten topic icon buttons at the OAUG Welcome Reception (Sunday, April 22 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay). Wear your buttons throughout the week so you can spot attendees with similar interests and strike up a conversation. Then visit the Networking Zone in the Exhibitor Showcase to create pop-up meetings and catch up on the latest tips learned in the day’s sessions. Look for tweets throughout the conference updating you on special topic-driven
Networking: The Power Boost for Your COLLABORATE 12 Experience!
lightning sessions being held in the Networking Zone as well.
on that particular subject as well as an extended opportunity to get to
Work the room. Certainly, you may sample as many education sessions from as many of the 20 educational tracks as you would like. But are you aware of the benefits of focusing on a particular track? OAUG’s conference organizers intentionally design the education schedule so that track participants will more or less stay in the same room the entire conference — providing a deep-dive experience
Reach out. Find those people you
identified before the conference. Using know others who are clearly Twitter or the attendee directory, focused on the same reach out to them to name issues. Use breaks a time and place to meet. Set a goal to to get to know Share a breakfast, meet meet five or more the people sitting for lunch in the Exhibitor new people in around you. Try not Showcase or share an your area of to rely too much on afternoon break. focus. your smartphone Keep an eye on during breaks – make the tweets. Watch for the most of the time you announcements of tweetups — or have with the folks around you. organize one yourself. Tweetups are usually informal, fun and open to all. Everyone who attends is looking to Networking Buttons meet others, so it’s a ready audience for making connections.
“Get in the Zone”
Introduce others. People will CRM
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remember you for making their own networking efforts easier and more successful, so pay it forward and be generous with your introductions.
Take notes. Each day during afternoon breaks, or when you’re back in your hotel room before heading out for the evening’s activities, take a few minutes to go through the business cards you collected during the day and make notations of the topics you discussed — business or personal. You’ll meet so many people during
the week you’ll surely need these reminders when you follow up after the conference.
relationships that will last a lifetime. Set a goal for yourself — vow not to leave without making ten new friends — you’ll add significant value to your conference investment, and you’ll enjoy your week in Las Vegas even more.
Schedule follow-up. Review that stack of business cards and reach out to each one with a “nice meeting you” message and a brief reminder of what you discussed when you met (refer to those quick notes you jotted down each evening). You can also connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Remind them what you discussed and what you want to continue to talk about. Did you offer to connect them with a contact of yours? If you promised any sort of follow-up, now is the time to deliver it.
We asked our Twitter followers for conference networking suggestions: @glsig: Attend @glsig session, meet fellow users/ experts and connect w them on LinkedIn! @BTLeeBriggs: Start using Twitter - @COLLAB_ OAUG, @OAUG1 are great for sharing information (@ocp_advisor too).
Make plans. Did you meet people from your city during the After the conference? Get in conference exchange touch and make emails and share plans for coffee or your conference lunch.
In closing, COLLABORATE is a great chance for you to forge
Networking tips for attendees of COLLABORATE 12: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community. Originally published in OAUG In...