Going to a conference where you don't know anyone is like starting at a new high school half way through the year. People already have their clicks, they all seem to know each other, they know how things work and they know the local lingo.
I found out about the Asia Pacific Cycling Congress on the Thursday before the conference started. By Saturday I had made the decision that I would apply for leave at my I.T job, and fly up for a week of learning and networking with people in the Cycling community. There was a lot of hesitation because I wasn’t confident, I didn't know anyone at the conference and the whole trip would cost me a pretty penny. But as someone on the last day of the conference made me appreciate, there's no other investment that would return you the same amount of targeted marketing for that price.
My strategy consisted of:
Through twitter I was able to engage with people at the congress and exchange ideas and conversations while attending a presentation. From there I was able to introduce myself in person and continue the conversations outside.
My elevator pitch is still not solid. I can’t figure out if I should introduce myself as Jules from Sydney making a career change. Or Jules the organiser of Sydney Night Rides a social bike riding group. I'll keep working on this one. But be prepared to brand yourself. Launch yourself as the person you want to be identified as.
How to use twitter 1:01
Before the conference
During the conference
Notes for next time
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