We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Bill Risser, vice president of digital strategy at Fidelity National Title in Tampa, and learn about his Inman Connect New York (January 22-26, 2018, Marriott Marquis Hotel, Times Square) experiences and how he’s been able to grow not only his business, but his network of friends and connections at the event. Bill offers some practical advice for how to build those relationships and how to take those connections online after the event.
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 trip to Connect New York was a bit overwhelming. I knew a few other attendees from the Phoenix area, but I had a list of people I wanted to meet for the first time. Connecting at Connect is what it is all about — heck, it’s in the name!
After you introduce yourself to that first person, it only gets easier. If it is your first time at Connect New York, have a plan and do not hesitate to reach out to the people on your list.
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?
It may not be apparent at the time, but that person you meet in the lobby can help your business one day. Focus on connecting, sharing contact information and remaining in touch.
My advice is to intentionally seek out connections for growth and embrace the random meetings as well.
How do you pick which sessions to attend, and why?
When it comes to the sessions, I am focused on ideas and strategies I can bring back to help my colleagues, customers and future customers — these people drive my schedule at Connect.
As a Select member, I know I can catch any sessions I missed when I get back to Florida. With so many offerings, it is vital to figure out in advance where you need to be. The divide and conquer method always works if attending with friends or co-workers.
What’s the single biggest thing not to miss at every Connect?
At every Connect I’ve attended, there has always been the main stage speaker (or two) that grabs my attention with a biography or a description of the talk.
People like the late David Carr of the New York Times, former CEO of Evernote Phil Lubin and Andrew Flachner of RealScout immediately come to mind. Look for keynotes or other talks that resonate with you and get them on the schedule. You will not be disappointed.
For those still on the fence about attending, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them?
If you’re on the fence, rest assured the investment is worth it. Relationships, information, inspiration and solutions are just a few of the reasons I give when asked by others if they should attend Connect.
If you get off that fence and make it to New York, please look me up and say hello. I look forward to meeting you!