Engineering conferences are making a comeback now that COVID-19 vaccines are widely available and case numbers are starting to drop. That’s great news for ACEC Utah members who are looking to interact and network with fellow professionals.
To make sure you get your time and money’s worth, it’s important to prepare in advance. It shouldn’t take a ton of prep time, but there are a few things to keep in mind before the big event. Start with these tips:
Update your LinkedIn profile
It may seem silly, but it’s crucial you update your LinkedIn profile before your next conference or networking event. Though it’s important to have a verbal introduction, most research happens digitally nowadays. Even if you meet someone in person, there’s a good chance you’ll follow up with them via LinkedIn messaging.
As you update your profile, be sure to choose a professional business photo that focuses on your upper body. You’ll also need to update information about your latest employment and any relevant skills you have. Make your headline punchy (not just your job title) and draft an introductory summary that focuses on your passion for the industry and latest accomplishments.
Audit other social media pages
Again, this is not a conventional tip, but in the social media age, it’s highly relevant. Be sure to audit any social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to make sure the content is professional, clean, and relevant.
If you like to keep your professional and personal life separate, we suggest making a separate account to reflect each facet of your life. For example, you don’t want to tweet a complaint at an airline on your professional business account, right? Plus, having separate accounts, allows you the space to share your personal opinions without them interfering in your professional life.
Make plans to connect
Before you go, scan the speaker list and see if anything jumps out at you. Is there a speaker you’ve been dying to ask a question? Or maybe slip your business card to? It’s important to plan for this interaction instead of improvising.
If there are professionals who aren’t speaking but you’d like to meet up with, ask them beforehand. You can make reservations to meet up at a restaurant nearby or even in a hotel lobby.
Good luck at your next engineering conference and don’t forget to check out ACEC Utah for information about the latest networking events.