AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Network Like a Pro at Your Next Conference

Network Like a Pro at Your Next Conference - a group of women with their arms around each other smiling at the camera

October 19, 2017     

Educational conferences are useful tools to help expand your perioperative network. Meeting new people connects you to new periop perspectives and this can ultimately help keep patients safer.

Here are some quick tips to help improve your next conference networking experience.

1. Plan Like a Boss

Conferences are notorious for jam-packing their schedules from sun-up to sundown. It can be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. Look at the conference schedule ahead of time and be thoughtful about which sessions will benefit you the most.

If you’re attending with friends, cut the cord and attend some sessions on your own. This act will encourage you to reach out to new people and perhaps create an important, career-enhancing connection.

2. Network Like an Introvert

Introverts are better known for their listening skills than their extroverted counterparts. Possessing exceptional listening skills is the top quality that makes someone memorable. Being memorable when networking is a big plus, right? If you’re an extrovert, never fear; be yourself but just be sure to do more listening than talking.

3. Get the Worm and Network Like a Rock Star

Conferences are not for the faint of heart. They’re part marathon and part late-night nursing school cram session (and tons of fun!). In addition to staying hydrated and eating well, you should strive to go a bit early each day. It gives you the chance to strike up conversations before sessions start.

Also, any industry conference worth its smelling salts will have numerous post-conference, after-hour events. Plan to make an appearance and talk to three new people even if you attend with your usual perioperative posse or don’t intend to stay the duration.

4. #Persist

Don’t let all the above networking efforts go to waste by not following up once you return home. Be sure to pack your confidence and ask for the contact info of the people you meet. Whether it’s exchanging a business card, becoming friends on Facebook, connecting via the conference app, or reaching out via LinkedIn, be bold as there is genius in it.

If you don’t have AORN Global Surgical Conference and Expo 2018 on your schedule yet, now is the time and New Orleans is the place. Come for the conference, stay for the culture, and maybe even leave with new perspectives around your perioperative career.