Social Media Week Lagos, in just 4 years has grown rapidly from an idea to a week-long event with over 13,000 attendees, 200+ speakers, and a global online reach of 810 million. As Africa’s largest, most influential technology & business event, networking and collaboration are at the core of our conversations.
From Tech Founders and Investors to Bloggers and Activists, there are numerous opportunities for you to connect with the people who matter to you and your business as well as foster dialogue that impacts people, communities, and industries.
Are you attending this year’s event? Want to network the smart way? Here are 5 tips to help you maximize every available networking opportunity at this year’s event.
- Research key speakers at the sessions you’re interested in: Many SMW Lagos events cater to specific industries and chances are Influencers or stakeholders in your industry are either speaking or attending the event you are interested in. Make a list of the individuals you would like to connect with, use social media to learn about their interests, think about mutual ground topics, and be prepared to talk and share knowledge with them.
- Prepare your elevator speech/introduction and use it to capture interest: Are you a founder or investor looking to win new business partners at SMW Lagos? When meeting your desired connection, you want to give a clear statement of who you are, what you do, and the unique value of your product or service. Be sure to practice your elevator speech and get ready to make adjustments where necessary. You do not need to be static, modify your basic speech to the listener’s business type and needs. Share what makes you stand out from the competition and focus on the value that you bring to others.
- Be approachable, you’re never fully dressed without a smile: Being approachable is a plus if you want to maximize networking opportunities at SMW Lagos. Be sure to project the right mix of confidence and modesty through your body language. Dress appropriately, smile and make eye contact while chatting with fellow attendees.
- Participate by asking questions, sharing knowledge and live-tweeting: In addition to researching key speakers, learn more about the focal topics of the panel or masterclass and if possible, pen down questions. By asking intelligent questions and providing well thought out feedback, you win the attention of key speakers and influencers present at the event and this provides a launch pad for you to introduce yourself. Posting live tweets, using the right hashtags and mentioning the speaker is also a great way to show your interest and stand out from the crowd.
- Connect genuinely, purposefully and avoid distributing your business cards mindlessly: Be strategic and genuine at the same time. Rather than distribute your business cards with speed of light, take the time to listen to others and show interest by asking good questions and being an even better listener. Listening to other attendees allows you to find common interests and make memorable connections.
In addition to the tips above, upgrading to the SMW Lagos Executive VIP Pass grants you access to keynotes with high profile speakers, exclusive meet-and-greets with key influencers, closed sessions and parties, letting you fully partake in all the networking opportunities you need.
Be sure to attend networking events via our #smwMeetups track and do not forget to stay in touch and follow up with your new connections after the week-long SMW Lagos events are over.
Have you got more tips on how to network effectively at SMW Lagos? Let me know by commenting below.
To learn more about innovation across Africa be sure to attend #smwlagos 2017. Register here: https://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/attend/