Since my post a few weeks ago, Twin Cities Startup Week 2018 Calendar And 10 Tips To Doing Startup Week, I’ve had a number of follow up questions about how to network and make new friends during Twin Cities Startup Week. I have two opposing hats I wear when talking about this… I am an introvert (stand on the sideline, observe and find quiet space) and a recruiter (be in the middle of the action and talk to people).
Events, networking and making conversation is not just an issue for us Introverts. For those new to the tech community or Minneapolis/St Paul, new to their career or don’t know anyone attending… events and/or weeks like this can be intimidating.
What follows is a “guide” of how to do an event and/or the week:
Start following the Twitter hashtags #TCSW and #TCSW18. A LOT of information sharing is going on. Follow those who you are not already following. Next step, engage with a comment or tip of your own.
When at an event, take a photo of something: the panel, crowd, view out the window, architecture of the building, you and your friends, heck… a selfie works too. Now Tweet it out and if an appropriate picture post it on LinkedIn too. And add the hashtags.
Post something on Twitter and LinkedIn about how you are looking forward to being at MinneDemo (any event) and seeing a particular person, topic, etc.
Follow every speaker on Twitter.
Send a note to those who are speaking/presenting (before or after) introducing yourself, who you are, what you do and thanking them for putting themselves out there.
If you’re going to an event find a group of people (small or large) and merge your way in. Be quiet and listen. Say hello. Jump in if you can contribute. Don’t stand by yourself.
If you’re going to an event and the previous seems too forward, find someone who is standing by themselves, walk up and say hello. Awkward? Hell yes. You already were feeling that way not knowing someone and so were they. Be awkward together. Yes I am being serious.
If you’re one of the hubs of the tech community, you know a lot of people, bring others into your conversations.
Always sit next to someone. Don’t do the “every other seat” thing.
Business cards… pass them out. All of them.
If you feel lost, ask for directions.
If you see someone looking lost, ask if you can help.
For one hour, one day or one week say to yourself, “F*** It, I am going to live outside my comfort zone.”
Please… don’t let this week go by without making new friends.
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