This year, we’re expecting even more excitement. And, we expect this year to be a big year for networking at conferences. So, without further ado… Here are…!
10 Networking Tips For #APTACSM
1. Get On Twitter!
Despite 2016 being the year that Twitter started to dwindle, it is still comes as an important professional platform as the waves of conferences hit the calendar. While not as consistent as other social platforms, you can bank on the fact that industry leaders will be tweeting, engaging, and networking publicly & via direct messages.
Twitter, as it stands, is essentially a pre-intro to other platforms including Linked In, Facebook/Instagram, Snapchat, email, and mobile connections.
If you’re a little shy on Twitter, here are My Top 5 Twitter Tips -and- 10 Reasons To Twitter.
2. Get Ready For a Linked In Surge
As much as Twitter has become a pulsatile platforms for our profession, Linked In has be surely & steadily growing with interactions. While it is still being used within the healthcare space as a “warmer” cold-connection and as a living space for resumes, it is slowly becoming a way where professionals within healthcare feel more comfortable, directly reaching out to potential connections with formal invites or prior interactions.
Why does this matter? Well, it’s a safe space for digital cold calls. Don’t be surprised if recruiters, clinic owners, managers, influencers, and industry leaders prefer their initial connection with new colleagues via Linked In -and- that prospective employers will be looking you up after the initial handshake 😉
3. Personal Brand Building
After so many APTA Student Assembly #XChangeSA chats, a whole bunch of live streams, and many continuing conversations… is it any surprise that personal branding is extra big this year?
Whether it’s savvy business cards with digital channels listed, Google me cards, or cards with Snapcodes & Linked In URLs; I also expect there to be well established personal websites as living resumes, general networking highways, and as personal branding hubs during the insanity that is a national conference.
P-To-The-S: If you’re wondering on how you can best develop such things out, you may want to check out our Ultimate Student Resource Collection (2016 edition).
4. Keep Your Eyes On Parallel Social Channels
While Twitter will be a veritable storm during conferences, you can also expect Facebook and Instagram to rule the day in their own respect for key groups, live broadcasts, and in private accelerator/mastermind/inner-circle/fellowship-type groups. Here are a few to consider on Facebook:
- Doctors of Physical Therapy Student group
- Physical Therapy: Practice, Education, and Networking group
- DPT Residency & Fellowship Facebook group
- Physical Therapy Business & Entrepreneur Accelerator
5. Guerrilla Sessions Will Abound
At nearly every PT conference, private, secret, and guerrilla sessions are all over the place. This year, it will be even bigger… so much so, that I anticipate there to be capacity issues for some popular sessions, planned by top influencers in our field.
Not sure where they are at??? Just tweet out #APTACSM and ask the #PTfam (related blog post re: the family win, HERE!)… People will let you know which ones they are aiming to join in on 😉
Here’s a link to our UpDoc Media secret event: [Details & Location will be emailed out to our short list]
6. All The Action Is At The Bars
Yep. That’s it. Nah… just kidding!
Truly, though… if you’re wanting to connect and network, hit up the bars and see who’s who & what’s what. I guarantee you that someone will be just as thrilled to meet you as you are to connect with them.
7. Set Up Your Meets NOW
And, save a few time slots for opportunity meet ups 😉
Just as with last year, definitely make a list of people you’d DEFINITELY want to meet up with or simply meet in person for the 1st time, ever. Start contacting folks and let them know your intentions to connect, lock down a few windows of times… but, then… ALSO keep some open windows, a few coffee greets and dinner meets, just in case something truly opportunistic comes up.
8. Approach All You Can
I love Wayne Gretzky’s quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
There will be local figures, social media stars, national icons, industry legends, influencers, and more. And, guess what? They are just people like you and me. One of the coolest things about the physical therapy community is how accessible everyone is, especially the ones you think may be impossible to meet up with.
Well! I’m telling you now: Don’t be afraid to approach & approach with confidence!
So many of our pioneers and industry legends already view you as a colleague. Find them speaking in sessions, at lounges, impromptu meetings, on the exhibition hall, and of course, at secret gatherings… and, bars. Get some selfies, tweet them, post them on Instagram, Snap them… share the #PTfam love!
9. Dress The Part. Act The Part.
Please. PLEASE. Dress the part & act the part. There’s nothing more generic than hordes of people, all clad in khakis & polos. If you wish to stand out, be remembered, and make meaningful connections… you need to look, feel, act, and present yourself as network worthy. Have all your connectivity pieces ready, dress sharp, give firm handshakes, be confident in your approach, cordial in your speech, and make an impression!
Should they wish to exchange contact information, get ready to hand out that business card. And, should the connection be an employment opportunity, get ready to hand them a copy of your resume… which brings us to…!
10. Be Resume Ready
Definitely have some ready to hand out resumes. If you’re worried about what to put on and how to approach it all, you can take a deep dive into the DPT Career Primer during the week before CSM. You can also have resumes linked to your personal branding site, available on your linked in, or saved a draft in your email — readily available to be sent to anyone at any time.
MAKE SURE that your resume fulfills the minimal requirements for the range of types of opportunities you are aiming for. If your goals are sports and orthopedics, highlight your relevant experiences. If you wish to move up in the business administration world, show off your leadership skills. If you represent a B2B entity, be sure to include your track record of success & excellence.
Personally, I’ll be using specific landing pages on updocmedia.com as well as my stand alone personal page, DrBenFung.com, as my go-to-digital-“resume.” Why digital, specifically? Because, the people I am to partner with are already technologically oriented. This will help self-select IN, the people that will best match with what I can do to help them win -and- self-select out, those who would be better served by other entities.
So……! That’s it for networking tips for this year. What did you think? Did I miss anything? Feel free to leave a comment, tweet at me, snap me, or reach out via any of my channels. I love receiving messages from you & respond to every single one as soon as I can.
See You There!
Ben Fung, DPT, MBA
Co-Founder, COO, UpDoc Media