The return of in-person industry events is a great sign! But if you’re starting to attend conferences again, you may want to try some new networking event tips. Refresh your approach with some new ideas designed to maximize your engagement.
Grow your skills with our handy ways to engage with new people you meet at industry events. The biggest P&C event in the West — the American Agents Alliance 2022 Conference & Expo — will be held September 22-24, 2022.
Secure your spot when registration opens to take advantage of this fantastic educational and networking opportunity!
7 Networking Event Tips to Engage With People at Insurance Industry Events
Try some of your tops networking event tips to gain even more connections at events:
Arrive early and come with a plan.
Set a plan for yourself ahead of the event. If you have access to the list of attendees, schedule meetings before the event. If you don’t have the attendee list, you can review the vendor list or resources from past years to get an idea of what companies will attend. Plan your time carefully — if there is a specific vendor or contact you want to meet with be sure to schedule time. It’s easy to run out of time at a busy conference so plan accordingly!
Challenge yourself to meet someone new.
Make networking a game at industry events. See if you can meet someone new at each break, meal, and educational session. It’s fun and comfortable to sit with your friends at events. But challenging yourself to sit with someone new can be just the push you need to engage with an important new connection. Growth doesn’t come from comfort, so push yourself to meet new people at industry events.
Research the topic in advance.
If there is a theme or overall topic to your event, do some research ahead of time. Have some related questions in mind. This way, you can approach others with a base knowledge of their niche. You’ll be able to ask them about their work and people like to talk about themselves — asking questions about others can help you make a new connection.
Try a new business card solution.
Digital business cards started trending in 2021 and seem poised to explode in 2022. A digital business card is eco-friendly and less expensive than printing traditional business cards. Lots of vendors have apps or other solutions to allow you to easily try the trend.
Ask good questions.
When you do connect with a new contact, asking them what they do is cliched. Try asking more interesting questions. Be creative — asking someone what they love about their job may get you a more insightful response than asking about their job title. Asking people what inspires them is often a great question for building conversation!
Use a targeted networking approach.
Have a plan for finding who you want to meet at your event. Watch the other attendees. Is there someone everyone seems to know or who is always surrounded by people? Keep an eye on who the conference organizer talks with — those may be VIPs, speakers, or sponsors. Introduce yourself to speakers — and to the people, they spend time with. That’s an effective way to meet industry thought leaders.
Thank the conference sponsors and vendors.
It’s good manners to thank the event sponsors and vendors. And you might make a good connection! Take time to meet the sponsors and ask about their business. Often, industry leaders and top carriers sponsor events. The person who attends to represent them is often a VP or C-suite executive — in other words, someone you want in your network.
Make Plans to Attend the American Agents Alliance 2022 Conference & Expo
Practice these tips at the biggest P&C event in the West — the American Agents Alliance 2022 Conference & Expo from September 22-24, 2022, in Palm Desert, California. Meet with industry experts, learn from thought leaders, expand your network, and try out our tips to engage with other attendees! Registration opens in Spring, 2022 — see you there!