July 16, 2012
Vince Lombardi said, “If you are 10 minutes early, you are late.”
If you are early to a seminar, meeting, or conference, you can choose who you will meet and sit next to; if you are late you can’t. When attending a conference for networking purposes, the most critical time is the half-hour of mingling before and after the program. You can’t converse with people during the speaker’s presentation – it’s rude. So get there early, and make effective use of that time.
In fact, it helps if you can identify the attendees at an event you’ll be going to before you show up, and you can usually find out. Simply call the event sponsor the day before the program and request the attendee list – typically, it’s not proprietary information. Scour the list to determine whom you want to meet. Do some quick internet research to learn more about them and their company. Then get there early and casually seek them out.