Discussion: View Thread

  • 1.  Networking at Conferences

    Posted 05-16-2017 04:49 PM
    When meeting new individuals at conferences or meetings, what are some practices you apply to remember who you are meeting and the information you are exchanging? Do you take notes after meeting someone? Do you take notes while chatting with that person?

    Oswaldo Bravo P.E., M.ASCE
    Staff Geotechnical Engineer
    Lenexa KS

  • 2.  RE: Networking at Conferences

    Posted 05-17-2017 11:35 AM

    Remembering faces and names is a personal attribute.  There are many tips and tricks but you find the only one that works for you.  But you have business cards, use them.  Exchange cards.  Make a very short note on the back of a business card you get.  Make sure you transfer that note along with the card information when you put that contact into Outlook or???


    Call him (no text or e-mail) soon after you get back to the office (or home, but only during business hours) and let him know you enjoyed meeting him/her.  If you want to know more about the person, offer to meet, coffee, lunch or??


    If you are professionally nice and cordial, and show interest in the followup, you will be remembered.  But don't become a pest.


    Dan Chase

    1327 Del Norte Road Camarillo CA 93010-9123
    Office Phone: (805) 981-0706 Ext 103

    Direct Phone: 805 322-1665

    Cell: 805 233 0900
    Fax: (805) 981-0251




    The content of this email is the confidential property of Stantec and should not be copied, modified, retransmitted, or used for any purpose except with Stantec's written authorization. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete all copies and notify us immediately.


    ü Please consider the environment before printing this email.


  • 3.  RE: Networking at Conferences

    Posted 05-17-2017 01:15 PM
    First off, I admit that I could use some improvement in the "remember people's names and where we met" department.

    One strategy I use is to be generous with my business cards and as soon as possible after meeting a person, I take some quick notes on the back of their card. For me, what helps is to take a note or two about what we talked about, where we met. I may take more extensive notes later when back at home or in my hotel room. I would say it's perfectly acceptable to follow up with an email after the conference, especially if you don't live in the same community.

    I only take notes during a visit if there is an "ask" that we agree on. I just say, "let me write that down so I remember" then follow up with a call or email to deliver the ask. Having good "forgetter" works better and better as an excuse as I am getting more grays..

    The last year or so, I have also started connecting with people on LinkedIn after a conference etc. Having a picture of the person helps me a great deal.

    What ever works best for you as a learning/memorization habit - find ways to use it in networking as well. For me what works best is if I can connect a face to a topic - but we all have different learning styles.

    Good luck with your networking - I have found ASCE to be an excellent place for that.

    Kind regards,

    Tor Anderzen P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Aviation Engineer
    Palmer AK

  • 4.  RE: Networking at Conferences

    Posted 05-17-2017 02:37 PM
    First thing is to determine if this is a person who you may use as a contact in the future. Ask for a card and if they don't have one on them, then yes take notes with name, phone, job title, specialty, etc. Even if you get a card, they may tell you information you want to make sure you don't forget, then simply say " I am going to write that down so I don't forget". Nothing wrong with just telling them why. Most will not get offended that you do not have a photographic memory. 

    During meetings it is normal to takes notes, that includes lunch or dinner meetings. Facts are that while eating your brain is focused on tastes and flavors, so things can be missed. 

    In a meeting years ago with a public agency, my client pulled out a note pad and said "you don't mind if I write all this down. Just want to make sure that if you change your mind on details of the sewer and water after this meeting, I can send you a bill for everyone's time". The public works director looked shocked but will say he was really clear on everything and then asked to go over everything at the end of the meeting to make sure everything was in order.

    George Miles P.E., M.ASCE
    Alligator Engineering Inc
    New Smyrna Beach FL

  • 5.  RE: Networking at Conferences

    Posted 05-18-2017 11:53 AM
    These are all great tips.

    The one caution I have is do not try to determine if this contact is someone that will be "useful" to you in the future. Attend strategic networking events, but when you are there network with the mindset that everyone can teach you something. You really never know over a person's career where they will end up. You also don't know when you may run into a client's family/friends/children socially so it behooves you to treat everyone both in and outside your network well. I've seen a number of folks (even in my short 15 year career so far) do a career pivot and end up as the owner's or client's representative.

    Stephanie Slocum P.E., M.ASCE
    Associate Principal
    Hope Furrer Assoc Inc
    State College PA