You’ll return to your organization after IAITAM ACE with tools to improve or start your IT Asset Management program. You’ll go home with the holistic knowledge of ITAM experts and applicable real-world tips. And, if you’re willing to put in the energy to network, you’ll return with a few new strangers-turned-colleagues.

Here are some networking best practices to consider if you want to make a friend, identify a prospect or find someone to eat lunch with!

  1. Be Prepared Networking starts before you get on the plane to Orlando!

Stock up: Bring business cards, business stamps or your social media information. Remember to offer only one or two initial channels of communication such as your phone number, email address or LinkedIn. Your new friend will feel overwhelmed if they get your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest handles all at once!

Network on Social Media: Search the #IAITAMACE hashtag on Twitter to find other people attending the conference. Follow them, get to know them, then seek them out in Florida!

Set a Goal: You won’t be able to talk to everybody in three days, and you shouldn’t try to. Set a goal to, for example, talk to 5-10 new people per day. If you’re extroverted, aim for more! And if you’re introverted, pat yourself on the back for speaking to one. Remember that networking is about quality, not quantity.

Elevator explanation: Unlike an elevator pitch, this is a brief explanation of who you are, what organization you work for and why you’re attending the conference. Aim for less than two sentences!

  1. Be Approachable

Wear That Smile: Look friendly! Just make sure it’s a genuine smile and not one worn by used car salesmen.

–  Look like Your Pictures: Do you usually wear your hair up, but it’s down in your LinkedIn profile pic? Consider wearing it like that at the conference so that people will recognize you. Were you wearing glasses in your pic, but now prefer contacts? Again—consider reverting for a few days. Some networking experts suggest you wear the exact same shirt you have on in your LinkedIn picture. If people recognize you, they’re more likely to approach you!

  1. Be Brave It’s rarely easy to talk to a stranger!

What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen: Ask yourself this question when you feel anxious. Perhaps the worst thing that could happen is that person simply doesn’t want to have a conversation. Don’t take rejection personally!

Start by Listening: If a group is having a conversation, listen before you chime in. Then, once you have something to contribute, add your two cents and your name along with it. Greet everyone with a firm handshake.

What to Say: Don’t know what to say for an opening line other than, “Hi, my name is…”? Try questions like “Can I join you?” or “What do you think about x,y,z…?” Reference the speaker or session you both recently heard.

Look for Similarities: Try looking for commonalities if you’re having trouble identifying who to talk to in the crowd. Talk to the guy who has the same shoes you do. Talk to the girl who has that purse you’re thinking about buying. Simple bonding can lead to a significant relationship!

For more help, check out “7 Tips for Networking” by Colleen DeBaise on, or “17 Tips to Survive Your Next Networking Event” by Darrah Brustein at

Share your best networking advice in the comments below!