Attending a networking conference as a student can be a harrowing experience. The nerves set in and you find yourself worrying: how do I make myself stand out?
This week, Porter Novelli is joining future PR pros from all over the Southeast at the University of Georgia’s regional, integrated communications networking event called ADPR Connection 2012. There are countless events like this for PR students all over the country.
So, there you are, at ADPR Connection or some other PR conference, surrounded by hundreds of your peers dressed to impress. How do you leave your mark on those you meet and get the most out of your time at the conference?
Below are a few tidbits on how to leave a lasting, positive impression on not only the professionals, but your peers and future colleagues as well.
- Make a good first impression
First, dress the part and do your research. Have a relevant story to tell that will leave each professional remembering your name and face. That elevator speech is key!
- Be prepared
Show up with informed questions, ready to introduce yourself to a panelist (or two!) and discuss what you enjoyed about the session. Know who’s presenting and what companies will be in attendance before you arrive. The more time you invest, the more you will get in return.
- Follow up
Write a blog post detailing what you learned at the event and share within your network. Also, be sure to send a quick, hand-written thank you note to those professionals with whom you had a meaningful conversation. A thoughtful thank you note goes a long way.
- Develop relationships with your peers
Networking with professionals is great, but consider networking with your peers as well. Get to know each other, because your peers will soon be your colleagues, and you never know how those relationships will help you in the future.
Conferences and events are great opportunities to grow as an aspiring PR pro, so just remember: relax, be yourself and be confident! As professionals, we are just as excited to meet you as you are to meet us.
- Michael Gray, Porter Novelli Atlanta