Networking Tips for the Fall Conference Season

HEAG California, FL, MA, News About HEAG, NY, PA

From regional financial aid administrators’ seminars to events at your college, the fall conference season is upon us. Do you look forward to attending a conference or would you rather go to the dentist?

I used to believe that either you were good at networking or you weren’t. But after years of doing it, I now know that HEAG NASFAAnetworking takes practice. Here are some of my tips:

  • Show up early to the social events. It’s easier to talk to people when they first arrive (and also feel uncomfortable) rather than later when they are already deep into conversation.
  • Think of some conversation starters. “What did you think of the speaker?” “Is this your first time at this conference?” “Did you Tweet about today’s events?” “What’s your school mascot?”
  • Have an answer ready for when you receive the question “What’s new?” “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer. Mention a project you are working on, a book you just ready, or the restaurant you tried last night.
  • Remember your business cards and wear something with pockets or have an easily accessible handbag.
  • And most important, Smile!
  • Finally, reconnect with the people you met on LinkedIn after the conference.

Networking can be intimidating but with a little bit of practice it can become second nature.

I hope to see some of you at the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA) conference on November 14 & 15, 2017. Registration is now open.