11-13 May

PMI® Global Congress 2015—EMEA

London ExCel Exhibition and Convention Centre | London, United Kingdom


Beyond the Business Card: 10 Innovative Networking Tips

Networking is among the top reasons your peers cited for attending PMI® Global Congress. How can you get the most out of this opportunity to advance your career? The new approach to networking puts building relationships first. This means focusing on making contributions first, then realising benefits for yourself. Here are some tips gleaned from PMI experts:

  1. Get on the list. Our attendee list publishes your full name and PMI credentials, state/country and company affiliations, but no personal contact information. It's a good way to help people find you. Sign up on the registration site and you will receive instructions for accessing the list.
  2. Focus on knowledge transfer. What you learn at PMI® Global Congress 2015—EMEA makes the best conversation openers. Talk about the trends and information that you learned during that day's presentation, not about your career goals.
  3. Have a dream. If you have innovative or big-picture ideas, area of focus sessions provide the time and the place to bring them out. It makes an impression, makes you more memorable and it can make people want to know more and help you!
  4. Know your speakers. Do a little research into the topic or presenter before the session you're attending. It gives you something to talk about with the people next to you before the session starts. It also helps you stand out in a Q&A with intelligent, thoughtful questions—and everyone benefits from those. You can learn more about your presenters here.
  5. Listen. Give people, from the speakers at an event to those you chat with at a reception, your attention. No scanning the room or sneaking looks at your phone. It's a powerful way to be remembered—and to learn.
  6. Specialise. Immersing yourself in an area of focus brings you into contact with the same people more than once and as you learn it gives you room to speak up more. The group will benefit from your input and you'll benefit from standing out.
  7. Give your memory a boost. Whether through old or new technologies, find a way to keep track of the dozens of people you meet at congress. In the time between events, jot notes on conversations while your memory is fresh. A print out of the attendee list, the contacts list in your phone/tablet and onsite materials are great ways to capture this information!
  8. Get social. You don't have to live on your device (and miss the best of congress). But occasionally sharing concepts and quotes that grab your interest benefits those who can't attend—and it brings more attention to the profession and positions you as a person “in the know.” Share your insights at #PMICongress or post on the Facebook page.
    Connect with over 1 million project managers globally to boost your network. Start now with a profile on ProjectManagment.com where you can highlight your certifications, chapter affiliation and volunteer work. You can even earn digital badges for activities like writing articles and attending events.

    Just log in using your PMI.org username and password to create or update your profile!

  10. Build at all levels. Relationships don't only guide who you might work for, but who you might work with or who might work for you. Building relationships at all levels could result in helping your company find a good leader, team member or entry-level hire. And strong, diverse networks strengthen the profession as a whole.
  11. Follow up fast. Here's the 1-2-3 of follow-up networking: Do it the next day, before everyone forgets; remind your new contact what you discussed; extend a polite, low-pressure invite. Go beyond pushing the button on the usual LinkedIn request—re-introduce yourself, remind them where you met and what you discussed, and thank them in advance.

After the Congress

Join a PMI or LinkedIn discussion forum and you'll probably see some familiar names. Sharing on a forum or affirming someone's experience is a non-intrusive way to network that can help lots of people looking for answers on the forums. It also makes a more memorable impression than sending a generic request to “join my network on LinkedIn.”

More Where This Came From

PMI Career Central has hundreds of articles and tip lists on networking, interviewing, communication and more—from the newest thinking to the tried-and-true.

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