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4 Things To Do Before SMC

Members network at the 2011 Spring Management Conference

With GAWDA’s Spring Management Conference only days away, there’s still time for some last minute planning to get the most out of your time in Baltimore. Even if you’re unable to attend the show in person, there are opportunities to learn and network remotely.

1. Prepare Questions
The SMC brings together some of the finest minds in the gases and welding business. Use them to your benefit! To get the most out of your investment in attending, think ahead and write down questions you have for your business. When you know what your questions are, you can seek out networking opportunities with a purpose. If you’re not at the SMC in person, ask questions on Twitter and LinkedIn where appropriate.

2. Sign Up for Twitter
Twitter is a great place to connect with fellow industry members during the Spring Management Conference and beyond. For the 2012 SMC, I will be live tweeting updates from my Twitter account @GasWeldEdge, sharing gossip and insightful comments overheard at the event.

To join the conversation, all you have to do is sign up for a free Twitter account. To find your first few followers, I’ve set up an entire list of GAWDA members on Twitter. During the SMC, search for tag #GAWDA, and #GAWDA to your own tweets about the conference. Share what you’re learning and react to what others are saying.

3. Tidy Up your LinkedIn Profile
Odds are, you’ve got your business card ready for the conference—but what’s the state of your LinkedIn profile? After meeting peers and prospective business partners at a conference, one of the best ways I’ve found to capitalize on those introductions is by taking all the business cards you’ve collected and connecting with those people on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is accurate and as complete as possible. LinkedIn will offer suggestions on how to complete your profile along the way by adding areas of expertise and more.

4. Do Some Research
It doesn’t have to be heavy reading, but it never hurts to read up on the latest industry and member news. What better way to start off a conversation with an industry peer than by showing you know something about them and their company? Think: “I saw that you just opened a new branch in Columbus. How’s the manufacturing market in that area?”

Where can you find this information? You might bring your copy of Welding & Gases Today along on your flight to Baltimore. Or while you’re waiting in the airport, take a look through the daily news headlines on the mobile version of www.gawdawiki.org.

As speaker and legal consultant Matt Hoffman writes in his blog post “Ten Rules for Conference Attendees,” “The amount of preparation you do before the conference is directly proportional to the benefits you’ll receive after it.” He has some other great tips as well, such as “Don’t tell someone you’ll follow up unless you intend to. Breaking the first promise you make to someone makes them believe you’ll break others, too.”

How do you prepare for the Spring Management Conference? Share by leaving a comment, and don’t forget to tweet during the conference using hash tag #GAWDA.

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