7 Tips for Building Relationships & Connecting at Conferences – ReadWrite
An important part of honing our skills as business professionals is becoming better at meeting new people and building real relationships. The more we invest in practicing engaging with others effectively — the more natural our ability to build relationships, becomes. We then look forward to the process of building relationships and find genuine happiness in the process. Our opportunity set in life is a function of both what we know and who we know. And although we meet people everywhere we go, conferences afford a unique opportunity to change the “who we know” forever.
Timeless Tips for Connecting and Building Relationships at Conferences
We attend many events to acquire knowledge while fostering new connections. And because we’re all there for the same reason — to learn about new things and establish new relationships. We realize that these relationships could develop into long-term friendships or potential business partnerships.
Attending events is the type of gathering that affords us the opportunity to make contacts easier. Although many conferences have gone virtual or been postponed due to the pandemic, it is more important than ever to attend these events now — and to build connections successfully.
Attending events now will entail both adapting to the “new normal” of socially distanced networking, in the short term, and preparing for an enthusiastic return to many new additional in-person networking in the long term.
Benefits of the connections
We don’t always see the real benefit of the connections we make at conferences right away. They must first be nurtured into meaningful relationships, and to do this successfully; we need a plan. Such relationships are gradually built through purposeful, patient, and authentic follow-up. An effective follow-up depends on the information you gather and the energy you invest to represent best who you are.
Authentic follow-up can help you stand out from the crowd because the “crowd” typically defaults to the easiest and sadly, least effective means of building relationships.
After you meet someone at a conference, one of two things happens: (1) You never hear from that person again, or (2) you receive a generic email or LinkedIn message saying something to the effect of, “It was nice meeting you at the conference. Let’s stay in touch,” perhaps with a link to a website.
If you have ever been guilty of either of these (as I have), establishing an action plan for new contacts will help you avoid repeating this common mistake. And the first step is preparation.
Set your specific goal before the conference
Before attending a conference, set some specific goals for yourself concerning the types of contacts you would like to make. Create a follow-up plan (before you go) for how you may be able to work with or help both the qualified contacts you meet and the less-than-ideal ones.
Remember that even though a person may not be an ideal contact for you, they may know someone else who is.
Furthermore, the most helpful and mutually beneficial relationships you establish might not be immediately obvious. You may need to have several meetings or conversations with an individual to discover your shared foundation of interest and opportunity.
For example, my colleague Sameer Somal at Blue Ocean Global Technology once met the head of sales for a financial services firm he introduced to others — but Sameer assumed that the new contact was not likely to work with our company directly. However, much later the new contact learned how Blue Ocean assists organizations in building a digital presence that supports sustainable sales growth.
The new contact connected back with Sameer and with the owner of his firm. The new contact included a strong written recommendation for hiring Blue Ocean Global Technology to create and implement a plan for better allocating their marketing, sales, and technology resources. Win-win for all of us.
Getting the most out of connecting, networking and building your relationships at your next conference or event.
Focus on Connecting.
During your initial conversations with people, really focus on them. When you give people your full attention, you make them feel important, and that may be the greatest gift of all between two human beings. Also, when people feel they’re truly being heard, they will talk more easily about themselves, their jobs, their passions, and their business.
Face them directly to avoid being distracted by the activity around you and lean toward them slightly. Take care not to invade their personal space. If you’re in a crowded hallway or other noisy location, suggest moving to another area, perhaps an alcove or a quieter corner of the room so that you can engage with fewer distractions.
And when you meet someone new and they are speaking — resist the urge to look around to see who else is in the room or what else is going on. Just don’t — looking around indirectly tells the person you don’t really care about what they’re saying and can create an unfavorable first impression (about you) that might be difficult to recover from.
Alex Jenkins, Relationship Director and Investment Specialist at Avantis Investors, make a conscious effort to avoid the topic of business when he meets someone for the first time. If the other person chooses to discuss professional interests or work matters, Alex will join in, but he never proactively steers the conversation in that direction.
By avoiding direct mention of business, Alex shows that he is interested in who that person is rather than simply what they do.
Paying close attention to your new contacts will help you learn what is important to them at that moment or in their life in general. Besides sharing potentially valuable business information, they might mention their favorite sports team, reference a movie they enjoy or disclose something personal about a loved one.
Focusing on your new acquaintance builds trust. Treat these individuals as though they’re the source of the most satisfying business relationship you’ll ever have because they just might be.
Record Important Details.
Be prepared to gather details beyond a person’s basic contact information, and either take notes during your conversations or jot down your primary takeaways immediately after speaking with them.
Consider using the note feature on your phone or a small notebook that fits in your pocket so that the information is all in one place. At the very least, make notes on the back of the business cards you collect or use a recorder app on your smartphone.
Don’t expect to simply remember details. No matter how fascinating a conversation may be, we are bound to start forgetting key bits of information as soon as the next exciting conversation begins. Always take a few minutes to process and document some of the critical points from your initial conversation with a new contact.
Listen to Learn.
When someone shares information with you about themselves, respond by acknowledging it with a related comment or question. Don’t just move on to the next topic you have in mind.
Providing others with positive feedback builds rapport, which in turn leads to trust. And the information you gather might prove useful in follow-up conversations.
Let’s say the individual mentions a new product launch for their business. You could ask them how they feel about the product or how it’s different from the business’s other offerings. Your response could be as simple as, “Thank you for sharing. Tell me more about that.” Their replies will help you understand what is most important to them, and knowing what’s important to them is a cornerstone in building your relationship.
“When you remember a specific part of someone’s story that they told you and relay it back to them in a question such as, ‘How did your big pitch go last week?’ in a follow-up email, people will want to grow the relationship,” says John Livesay, author of Better Selling Through Storytelling.
Define Your Relationship.
Consider why each new contact is interested in speaking with you.
Ask them what type of person they’re hoping to meet at the conference. Perhaps you are that person. But if not, offer to introduce them to someone in your network who might be a good match. Ideally, this will engage what’s known as the Law of Reciprocity, meaning they will feel somewhat obligated to return the favor.
You’ve now expanded your reach at the conference. (Conversely, this may also help you identify “takers,” those with little or no interest in genuinely helping you, no matter how much you help them.)
If appropriate, exchange business phone numbers so you can quickly contact each other if and when you encounter another person they should meet, and vice versa.
Learn Their Preferences.
Ask each new person you meet how they wish to be contacted. Some might be swamped with email and would prefer a phone call. Others may favor a quick text message to arrange a time for a call or meeting. Your goal is to connect with them simultaneously and in a fashion that would make them most receptive to you.
Respecting their wishes demonstrates your desire to cultivate an authentic relationship with them—at their convenience—and can highlight how you are different.
Focus on Qualified Contacts.
Go for quality over quantity. Returning from a conference with hundreds of new contacts doesn’t necessarily make you a winner. The value lies in the number of qualified contacts you make. Interact and invest time with as many people as you will realistically be able to follow up with later.
I used to follow up with everyone in the same way, and that was exhausting. Seek out individuals who seem most qualified to do business with you directly or who might be instrumental in facilitating another relationship that could be beneficial.
Work your usual business qualifying questions into your conversations. Who knows? You might be speaking with an ideal, potential, client who presents a need your business can resolve and can generate new business sooner rather than later.
“The most qualified relationships are those in which you enter into with an open mind, wanting to learn from others. As successful philanthropists often say, the act of volunteering is selfish because it makes us feel good. As such, connecting with people should also be about what you can gain from them. What you receive from others is of more value than what you could possibly exude.” —Marie Beane, Director of IBM Worldwide Storage.
Schedule Your Follow-up.
Effectively following up with people takes time, so before you even leave for a conference, schedule opportunities in your calendar during the week immediately after your event, in which to reach out to your new contacts.
Otherwise, you risk falling back into your regular routine and neglecting or postponing this important step in the relationship-building process. Those generic messages I mentioned earlier are often the result of not setting aside the necessary time to follow up.
Although mediocre businesspeople will follow up poorly and feel satisfied that they at least did something — that’s not how truly successful business professionals operate.
When carefully managed, your initial contacts with people at conferences can sow the seeds for fruitful business relationships in the future.
Recognize that strong connections aren’t built in just a few minutes or even a day, though, so your follow-up plan is key.
To set the stage for success, empower yourself with valuable information by being attentive to details, incorporating those details into your subsequent communications, and seeking to nurture positive associations for everyone involved.
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The Benefits of Standing Desks for Office Workers
Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason.
In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits of standing desks for office workers.
The Dangers of Prolonged Sitting
Sitting for extended periods can be harmful to your health.
Prolonged sitting has been linked to various health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
It can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon and endometrial cancer.
The Benefits of Standing Desks
Standing desks offer a range of benefits that can improve the health of office workers.
This is not to say that you have to stand the entire day — but forcing oneself to stand several times during the workday will significantly improve your health.
One of the most significant benefits of standing desks is that they can improve posture. Sitting for long periods can lead to slouching, which can cause neck and back pain.
By standing at a desk, you can maintain a more upright posture, which can reduce the risk of neck and back pain.
Tips for a Good Posture
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Ensure your feet are flat on the floor and your shoulders are relaxed.
- Keep your head straight, eyes looking forward, and chin parallel to the floor.
- Keep your arms loosely at your sides, with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
- Take regular breaks to move around, stretch, and relax your back, neck, and shoulders.
Increased energy levels
Standing desks can also increase energy levels, helping you to stay alert and focused throughout the day.
It’s because standing desks can improve blood circulation, which helps to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Standing desks can also improve mood, helping to reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being.
Having a good mood in the office can have a significant impact on the productivity and overall morale of the workplace.
A good mood has been linked to improved performance, higher levels of engagement, and even better physical health for office workers.
Increased Focus and Productivity
Standing desks have also been shown to increase focus and productivity. When we sit for long periods, our bodies tend to become sluggish, and our minds start to wander.
It can lead to a decrease in focus and productivity.
In contrast, standing desks keep us alert and focused, as they require us to maintain an upright position for a while — and maintain a constant state of movement.
Here are some tips to maximize your productivity while at a standing desk:
- Listen to Music.
- Take Breaks.
- Use a Footrest.
- Keep it Clean.
Reduced Risk of Health Problems
Another benefit of standing desks is the reduced risk of health problems. Sitting for long periods has been linked to a range of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
By using a standing desk, office workers can reduce their risk of these problems and maintain a healthy weight.
Additionally, standing desks have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon cancer and breast cancer.
Promotes Weight Loss
Weight loss is a benefit (from bestdesksgeek dot com) of standing desks that often goes unnoticed. Standing desks offer a great way to burn extra calories while working.
Studies suggest that standing at a desk can burn up to 50-110 extra calories per hour compared to sitting. This can add up over time and contribute to weight loss.
Finally, standing desks can also help improve the quality of sleep. Sitting for long periods has been linked to poor sleep quality, as it can cause discomfort and stress.
On the other hand, standing desks promote good posture and reduce stress, which can lead to better sleep quality.
Additionally, standing desks have been shown to reduce the risk of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Implementing Standing Desks in the Workplace
While the benefits of standing desks are numerous, they do come with a cost.
Below is a cost-benefit analysis of standing desks:
Cost of Implementation
While the benefits of standing desks are numerous, they do come with a cost.
The cost of implementation can vary depending on the type of standing desk you choose and the number of employees you need to accommodate.
It’s important to consider the cost of the desks themselves, as well as the cost of any necessary modifications to the work environment, such as electrical and plumbing upgrades.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Despite the upfront cost of implementing standing desks in the workplace, the return on investment can be substantial. Improved employee health, increased productivity, and reduced absenteeism can all lead to improved bottom-line performance.
How Incorrect Posture Can Lead To Health Issues While Using a Standing Desk?
If you work at a standing desk, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with incorrect posture.
Poor posture can lead to several health issues, including musculoskeletal problems, headaches, and fatigue.
One of the most common problems associated with incorrect posture is a pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.
This is often caused by slouching or hunching over, which puts unnecessary strain on the spine. Poor posture can also lead to tension headaches and migraines.
Fatigue is another common problem caused by incorrect posture. When you stand for long periods, it’s important to maintain good posture to avoid fatiguing your muscles.
If you slouch or hunch over, you’ll likely start to feel tired more quickly.
Incorrect posture can also cause problems with circulation. When you stand, your blood flow should be directed downwards towards your feet.
However, if you slouch or hunch over, your blood flow can be restricted, leading to dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
Are standing desks more comfortable than traditional seated desks?
Yes, standing desks are more comfortable than traditional seated desks. Standing desks offer several comfort benefits, including reduced risk of pressure injuries and improved focus and motivation.
How often should I use my standing desk?
It’s also important to use your standing desk regularly to get the most benefit from it.
Is a mat necessary when using a standing desk?
No, a mat is not hundred percent necessary, but for standing for long periods — it provides a non-slip surface for added safety.
Standing desks offer a range of benefits for office workers, including improved posture, increased focus and productivity, reduced risk of health problems, increased energy levels, and better sleep quality.
With so many benefits, it is no wonder that standing desks are becoming a popular choice for office workers around the world.
In this article, I’ve discussed the benefits of standing desks for office workers.
What benefits have you seen from your standing desk? Let us know!
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What is a Divorce from Bed and Board?
If you are considering filing for a divorce from bed and board, it is important to understand what it entails. Commonly known as a “legal separation,” this type of dissolution of a marriage involves much more than just the two parties not living together anymore; instead, it may include property division and child custody rights, among other things.
In some cases, obtaining a bed and board divorce can even be difficult to obtain in certain states due to the laws related to separations. Regardless of your motive behind wanting or needing one, knowing all that goes into such an arrangement can help you make informed decisions regarding your future.
Overview of divorce from bed and board
A divorce from bed and board is a type of divorce that involves two parties legally separating but never actually getting divorced. It’s not uncommon for couples who want to pursue divorce proceedings to first consider this option, as it allows them to maintain the legal benefits of being married without having to endure the heartache and stress associated with an actual divorce.
What are the benefits of divorce from bed and board?
The main benefit of divorce from bed and board is that it allows couples to divide assets, establish custody rights, and make arrangements pertaining to support payments in a way that’s agreeable to both parties. This means they can move on with their lives while still enjoying many of the benefits of marriage, including being able to file jointly for taxes and having access to health insurance.
Are there downsides to divorce from bed and board?
Though divorce, from bed and board, may seem like the perfect solution for some couples, it is important to understand that it can be difficult or even impossible to obtain in certain states due to the legal definition of divorce. Additionally, some couples may find themselves stuck in a limbo-like situation if they remain legally married but live separately.
Couples should also be aware that divorce from bed and board does not dissolve a marriage — meaning the two parties are still technically married and can’t remarry without getting an actual divorce.
Filing for divorce from bed and board is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to consult a lawyer experienced in family law before deciding if this option is right for you. With the right guidance, you can decide what’s best for your situation and move forward with confidence.
What are the grounds for a divorce from bed and board?
In order to file for divorce from bed and board, you must have a valid reason, such as:
- Adultery – Adultery is one of the most valid grounds for divorce from bed and board. It is voluntary sexual intercourse between two married people, one of whom is not the other’s legal spouse. But in many states — the judges don’t care either way.
- Abandonment – Abandonment involves one spouse leaving the marital home without any intention to return or provide support for at least one year.
- Cruelty – Cruelty can be defined as any physical or mental abuse suffered by either spouse.
- Separation – Separation occurs when spouses have lived apart for at least a year due to disagreements or other factors.
- Habitual Intemperance – Habitual intemperance is the excessive use of drugs or alcohol by one spouse.
- Excessive Spending – This involves one spouse spending money in a way that is detrimental to the other spouse’s financial interests.
Understanding divorce from bed and board can help you make an informed decision when considering your legal options. Before making any decisions, it’s important to consult a lawyer to ensure this is the right choice for you. With the right guidance, you can move forward with confidence.
What are the consequences of a divorce from bed and board?
The consequences of divorce from bed and board depend on the agreement reached between the two parties. Additionally, they may have difficulty remarrying in the future without obtaining an actual divorce.
Overall, this type of divorce can be a viable option for couples who are looking to divorce but wish to maintain some of the benefits of marriage. It is important to understand all of the legal implications before making any decisions, so it’s always best to consult an experienced family law attorney. With the right guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.
How can a divorce attorney help you with this?
A divorce attorney can provide invaluable assistance, especially in cases where you’re going through a divorce from bed and board (garrettandwalker dot com, same title). They will advise you on the best course of action and ensure that all legal requirements are met. They will also work with you to create a divorce agreement and represent your interests in court if needed.
With the right guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests. If this is the right option for you, a divorce lawyer can help you to understand all the legal aspects. With a divorce attorney by your side, you can move forward with confidence.
Divorce from bed and board is a viable option for couples who wish to divorce but remain married. It can provide some of the benefits of marriage without many disadvantages. Before making any decisions, it’s important to understand all of the legal implications and consult an experienced lawyer. With the right legal guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.
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The Top 7 AI Podcasts You Need To Hear Now
With artificial intelligence now being used to write everything from college homework to Congressional speeches, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the latest advances in machine learning, natural language processing, and all things AI.
We’ve brought together a list of seven of the top podcasts that track and explain the newest developments. They look behind the scenes at the technology behind the platforms, and they discuss how artificial intelligence is already upending business, marketing, data analysis, and more.
The TWIML AI Podcast
The TWIML AI Podcast used to be known as This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence. The new name is shorter and snappier, but the content is just as deep and complex. Hosted by Sam Charrington, the podcast has produced more than 630 weekly episodes featuring interviews with a host of guests — usually technicians and scientists—working in the field of AI. The subjects of the discussions are often fairly complex. If you want to understand the human thinking behind artificial thinking, the show is essential listening.
The Bad AI Show
If interviews with Stanford professors aren’t your thing, try the Bad AI Show. Hosted by Joel Comm and Travis Wright of the Bad Crypto Podcast. The pair take a fun, laidback approach to new technology, explaining clearly — and wittily — the latest developments in artificial intelligence and its practical effects. Think of the TWIML AI podcast as a Stanford lecture and the Bad AI Show as the lounge next door. It’s a fun, relaxed chat with smart people about AI topics that get everyone thinking. The show is released as both an audio and video version.
The AI Podcast
One of the biggest challenges that a discussion of AI generates is how the new technology will be applied in the real world. Noah Kravitz’s The AI Podcast has already generated almost 200 answers. Each episode features an interview with experts using artificial intelligence to further their work. They’ve included a wildlife biologist tracking endangered rhinos, an astrophysicist analyzing starlight, and language learners grappling with Arabic pronunciation and even the delivery of sports highlights.
As you listen to those interviews with people applying AI to such a broad range of fields, it’s worth asking about the effectiveness of AI in solving those problems and whether they couldn’t be solved in an easier way. Claims for the benefits of artificial intelligence will grow, so make sure you’re also listening to Kyle Polich’s Data Skeptic. The podcast has already produced more than 470 episodes with interviews that take down the hype and take a realistic view of what AI can and can’t do.
The AI in Business Podcast
One area where both the hype and the expectation will be highest is in business applications of artificial intelligence. Each week, on the AI in Business Podcast, Daniel Faggella, the CEO of Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research, interviews AI executives from leading firms and startups to explore how business is adapting AI and exploring the opportunities the new technology offers.
The Marketing AI Show
Business is a broad topic. The Marketing AI Show tries to narrow things down with a focus specifically on the way marketers are using artificial intelligence to improve sales. The podcast is created by the Marketing AI Institute and the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON), and it’s essential listening for anyone wondering how the new technology can help their business identify leads and improve conversions.
Eye on AI
Finally, Eye on A.I. takes a broader, more journalistic approach to the developments of artificial intelligence. Out every two weeks and hosted by New York Times correspondent Craig S. Smith, each episode features an interview with a leader pushing AI into new ground. Episodes have discussed AI in supply chain optimization and finance but they’ve also delved behind the scenes to look at issues surrounding privacy and the future of AI itself.
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