No stranger to Inman Connect New York, Coldwell Banker Director of Media Engagement Lindsay Listanski shares how the personal and professional relationships fostered and grown at Inman Connect have changed not only her career, but also her life. We recently sat down with Lindsay to discuss her take on how to make the most of Connect, learn where she likes to focus and hear her tips for how to network most effectively at evening events.
You’ve been coming to Inman Connect New York for several years now. What do you remember about your first experience, and what advice would you give a first-time attendee?
My first ICNY was in 2012, and it was my first real industry experience in my new position at Coldwell Banker. I was in awe of the scale of the event, the camaraderie of agents from opposing brokerages and most of all the quality of speakers and the information they were sharing.
As I sat in the audience, I wondered if one day I could become one of the people sitting in the front row of the room as an ambassador. I dreamed of having a chance to present on stage and now, nearly six years later, and I am still wide-eyed each time I attend.
I have had the opportunity to serve as an ambassador several times and will be taking the stage for the second time next month.
Inman has fostered professional and personal relationships that have truly changed my career and life.
Connect is very well known for its ability to create long-lasting, meaningful networking opportunities. What would your advice be to those looking to grow their business through new connections in January?
There was a running joke about me when I was younger (and still today sometimes) that I am “aggressively friendly.” I love meeting new people, but in a massive environment like Inman even I was intimidated during the first event I attended.
My best advice is to attend all the after-hour events, exchange social handles with those you connect with so you stay in touch and really put yourself out there with the people sitting around you.
If possible, connect with the Inman Ambassadors — they are social butterflies in person and online, and they will help you meet a ton of great people!
How do you pick which sessions to attend, and why?
I always pick sessions where we have speakers from Coldwell Banker to show them support. I have such admiration for people who are brave and generous enough to offer their expert advice even though they might not be used to getting on stage.
After that, I look at picking topics that relate to things I am interested in (tech, advertising, social, etc). If I am still stuck, I pick sessions based on recommendations from the ambassadors and my friends at Inman.
What’s the single biggest thing not to miss at every Connect?
The single biggest thing not to miss is meeting people you don’t know! It is easy to sit with your colleagues and go out to lunch with friends, but you are missing half the value of the event if you are staying within your own sphere.
For those still on the fence about attending, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them?
My piece of advice is to really evaluate your business. Unless you are maxed out on transactions, done growing your skills and satisfied with never getting to know more people, then there is still room in your business to grow.
This event in January is the perfect jumping off point for supercharging your business for 2018.