What to expect when you're Connecting: First-time attendees

The Inman community offers their best advice for first-time Connect attendees

There are many things members of the Inman community know how to do really well, and you can be sure to count problem solving, having fun and learning from each other among them. This is no more apparent than during Inman Connect New York (January 22-26 2018), where over 5,000 attendees from 25 countries will gather to hear more than 300 speakers share their insights for 2018.

SAVE MY SEAT

But if you’ve never been to Connect, how do you know how to pick the right sessions, how to network and how to connect with the most interesting people, or make the most of your time there?

We asked our Inman Coast to Coast Facebook Group for their best suggestions, and here’s a selection of some of our favorites:

Andrea Geller: “Afternoon breakouts: pick a session or 2 you don’t know much about or don’t think you would be interested in. You will be surprised.”

Read more about Andrea’s Connect journey.

Rosemary Phinney Buerger: “Make time to have conversations with people you’ve just met. I’m an introvert but loved getting to chat with my new friends. Go to the sessions and bring a notebook to take notes. Go to lunch with people you’ve met, attend the parties and have fun.”

Becky Boomsma“Reach out to the Ambassadors or other attendees to introduce yourself, be introduced to others, and arrange to attend lunch, dinner, or evening events together. You will quickly find common ground and good conversation with new connections.”

Valerie Garcia: “Make lunch reservations for at least 4. Grab others on the way. Best way to make new friends.”

Laurie Weston Davis:Download the app!!!

Read more about Laurie’s Connect journey.

Zach Schabot: “Buy a mophie case or two or three. The person with extra power at the end of the day is a hero and will easily make new friends.”

Jay Thompson: “Wear comfortable shoes. And remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Read more about Jay’s Connect journey.

Tracy Wolchock Freeman“Talk to people before and after the sessions. Talk to people in the lobby. Talk to people in the bathroom (at the sink). Chances are they don’t know anyone either. Oh and talk to the vendors, they definitely want to talk to you!”

Sean Carpenter: “Trying to take too many notes, type too many quotes or simply be so engaged in capturing what the speakers are saying for review later is the best way to ensure you miss most or all of what their message was. Put the pencils or phones down and listen. I can almost promise you, most of the best “sound bites” and takeaways will be found in the #ICNY on Twitter after the fact thanks to the furious sharing being done by the Ambassadors.”

Read more about Sean’s Connect journey.

Jason Rose: “If you are travel internationally, network as much as you can with people from other countries. You can catch-up for beers/networking with your fellow country people when you are at home.”

Karen Eastman Bigos: “Never eat alone! Invite stray people to join you! Some of the best tips, hacks & apps I learned came from strangers who I met at lunch! Bring some Advil & vitamins if you plan to go out drinking!”

Read more about Karen’s Connect journey.

Stacy Stateham: “Catch Inman Select for the sessions you missed or replays of the ones you love, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people you haven’t met (some of my dearest peeps are those I met at Connect!), you can sleep when you get home, wear comfy shoes, if there’s someone you want to be sure to get time with set a time before you go, and if there’s someone you really really want to meet but don’t know ask an Ambassador!

SAVE MY SEAT

We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone in January at Inman Connect New York, and we hope to see you out and about during the networking parts of the conference.

Don’t be shy — we’ve all been first-timers at some point, and we hope that you’ll find the Inman community at Connect to be warm, welcoming and helpful.

We’ll keep you posted with more great tips and recommendations each week in the run-up to the event. Feel free to add more for us in Inman Coast to Coast on Facebook if we’re missing anything.

Email Matthew Shadbolt.