Make The Right Connections @ SXSWedu 2016!

5 Great networking strategies, new meet-ups, and what-to-see tips

You know you should network, particularly at an event like SXSWedu, where you can meet a diverse and energetic community of education stakeholders. If you’re like most people, networking can create some jitters—this article shares five ways to make you a natural schmoozer, and points out some great ways to meet others who are working to change education for the better.

5 ways to be a networking rock star

Although we rely on the virtual world to connect with colleagues, nothing beats face-to-face interaction.

1. Think differently. Many people are apprehensive about networking because they’re shy or they feel that it is somehow inauthentic. Change your mind if that’s the case—it really is good for you and your career. Stay motivated and think about the great things ahead.

2. Know thyself. You probably know if you do best in a one-to-one setting, in a small group situation, or as part of a large group venue. Think about your style, and check out the possible opportunities (like the ones below) that set you up for success.

3. Set goals. Think about who you want to meet and why. By doing a bit of research on who will be attending, you can even set up connections through social media actions in advance. Are you looking to change careers, location, or learn about something in particular? Create some goals in terms of how many new contacts you want to make: 2, 5, or 10? It’s up to you. Write down what you want to achieve and make a plan in advance.

4. Talk … less. The best way to be a great conversationalist is to ask a leading question and then simply listen. Rather than say anymore, we’ll refer you to this great article.

5. Follow up. Once you’ve made a connection, make sure that you keep it alive by setting up another meeting at the conference, or by maintaining social media contact. Try to follow up immediately after SXSWedu to make sure the conversation you’ve had is fresh in your new friend’s mind.

Don’t miss SXSWedu 2016 Meet Ups—use these conversation starters

There are so many opportunities to meet people this year! For the first time, you can discover people with like interests via SXSW Meet Ups. You can get the full Meet Ups list here, but the following are some we’re particularly interested in, along with a few conversation starters that provide great data and facts to inform your chat:

Get Social at eduSocial

SXSWedu has made it easy to stay in touch with colleagues and new contacts using eduSocial. Simply create an eduSocial account. It’s easy to search for and message other conference attendees, as well as book or modify your hotel reservation. Get info and register here.

Mix and mingle at special events

There’s a bountiful array of events from morning ’til night, every day of SXSWedu.
Sunday, March 6
Early Bird Social

Monday, March 7
SXSWedu Opening Party

Tuesday, March 8
Morning Mixer
The 2016 Allen Distinguished Educators Awards Reception
Do Now: An Introduction to NYC Model Redesign
Startup Showcase
A Celebration of Student Success

Wednesday, March 9
Morning Mixer
Network With Employability Experts
MBK Best Practices Social Gathering
Civitas Learning Data and Drinks
Launch Party & Winners Announcement
Celebrating Diversity in Education Innovation

Thursday, March 10
Top Trends in Higher Education Morning Mixer
SXSWedu Closing Party

Have a networking resource or suggestion? Add your comments and we’ll use it in our next SXSWedu 2016 post!