Engel & Völkers’ Nikki Beauchamp recently shared some of her insights into how those unexpected and chance encounters in the hallways at Inman Connect New York have helped her to get inspired for the new year, and grow her business in the Big Apple. She also shared some great practical advice for how to keep in touch after the event, as well as some advice for first-time attendees.
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?
I remember being overwhelmed. Although I am a native New Yorker, large crowds can always be overwhelming and even intimidating. When I decided to attend, I tried to reach out to people who had spoken or previously attended. I made a mental list of my goals in terms of sessions to attend and the types of people I thought would be most interesting and beneficial to business and thus generating potential referrals. All of this is exponentially easier now- the social streams and network of contributors to Inman provide vast opportunities to pre-connect before the conference and remain connected after.
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?
Be intentional and be open. Have some goals set, but also be open to the opportunities to network — between sessions, after sessions at social events and even something as simple as sharing a spare charger or battery pack plug in! Also be concise about who you are , what you do and where you are from! (P.S. I personally appreciate business cards — with physical addresses — because I enjoy sending handwritten notes, still and it also gives me an idea of where you are in case I happen to be in that locale in the future.)
How do you pick which sessions to attend, and why?
I look at speakers and content. Luckily in recent years both from expanding my network via attendees as well as attending with colleagues we can take More of a divide and conquer approach, and we share post-event.
What’s the single biggest thing not to miss at every Connect?
Some of my best connections came from the completely unexpected. While all the social activities are great sometimes something as simple as a “hello” starts the ball rolling, keep your eyes open — in the lobby, and even at the gym.
For those still on the fence about attending, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them?
Take the chance and invest in yourself and your business. Connect will broaden your perspective , your network, your business — so many new and innovative ideas, so many new businesses born after that week, and it will likely enrich your life in ways you never thought of.