Summer is over, it is the Thursday after Labor Day and conference season is upon us.
Are you ready?
Here are some of my personal thoughts juxtaposed against other folks.
I liked her post. It was well organized and very matter of fact | practical. I would follow all of her pointers except the details in #9: Dress Nice.
She writes: “Maybe this already occurred to you. There are rarely dress codes at industry events, but looking sharp with a nice button-down shirt or shiny shoes allows you to put your best foot forward (no pun intended) when you encounter businesses and professionals on whom you want to make a good impression.”
My two cents…
One always wants to look nice but you need to dress to the audience. A button-down shirt and polished shoes seems outdated, unless you are in finance, sales or a member of the CxO bench. Most lead developer,s CTOs or young CEOs would not be caught dead wearing a button down with shiny shoes. They would be in something like a hip shirt and cool sneakers (aka Adidas, Vans or the like). It’s the new uniform in technology land.
For example, I was in a meeting the other day with the head of marketing and former Googler with a very cool company in SF. This guy exuded cool and would not be caught dead in a button down or polished shoes, and would probably not hire someone who dressed this way. A lot of decisions makers these days are young, up and comers that are coming out of Amazon, Facebook, Google and the list goes on – they are “hot shot” men and women that are making 40 under 40 lists.
One thing to note is that Leslie Ye’s sartorial advice was directed to men, and I am confident that this was a small oversight.There are now a lot of women attending conferences and as one of these people,, I personally rock sneakers with a comfortable “stretchy jeans (thank goodness for the jegging) and stylish top. This allows me to walk all day long in total comfort, look professional and dare I say it, kind of hip (or at least I hope).
I loved this post. There were many fabulous elements to it, however here were my two favorites.
#4. You can Literally Walk Up To Anyone And Start Talking, And They’ll Likely Be Cool With It
I am personally an extravert. However, there are a lot of introverts that attend these conferences. This conference tip is so accurate. When folks go to a conference, they already have a common ground and a common interest. For the most party, everyone is nice and easy going. So, just go for it…get your network on.
#7 Don’t Be Creepy/Stalkerish
It is all too true. Because conferences are filled with a lot of folks that one doesn’t know and a lot of alcohol, things can go South quickly. Please be careful when attending a conference. And, this is not coming from the voice of a woman. While there are women in technology, no ifs and or buts, the conference still have a highly male demographic. There is an opportunity to creep a person out or find not just your next leed, but maybe your next best friend or more.
8. Wait Until Speakers Have A Moment To Recoup Before Approaching Them
A few weeks ago, I attended the San Diego Venture Group 16th Annual Venture Summit. There was a fabulous VC by the name of Dafina Toncheva. When she got off the stage there was a line of people trying to get in front of her. She was beyond pleasant with all these enthusiastic entrepreneurs that were eager to pitch their idea. A few fell under #7 – super close talkers that appeared a bit pushy. I get it though, when one has the opportunity to get in front of a VC and pitch their idea in a hot one minute – why not. However, there really is a place and a time.
Now…I hope everyone is getting ready and enjoys the upcoming Fall Conference Season. The line up for most of our clients is the following:
- TechCrunch DISRUPT, Around the corner
- MSFT Ignite, I personally love MSFT and respect the job Satya Nadella has done in reinvigorating the company
- DreamForce, You go Mr. Benioff and I respect you too, thank you for what you’ve given to the city of San Francisco and beyond
- Oracle OpenWorld + JavaOne, an original disrupter
- AWS re:Invent, Amazon – what would we do without you
Best of luck networking!