The Efficient Networker
NEW YORK – Long ago, I used to run a conference called PC Forum. People would say to me, “If only I could sit next to Bill Gates....” Just last week, a friend pulled me aside at a conference to ask for advice. “What’s the best way to make conferences more efficient for meeting people?” he asked. “Just like marketing, it seems it’s only about 50% effective.”
He was asking the wrong question. The interaction has to be two-way: Do other people really want to meet him?
A conference optimized to help my friend would fail, because the people everyone wants to meet are unlikely to show up. Indeed, does my friend have a right to their time? He told me that he had actually sat in a breakout group with 20 people, each of whom he wanted to meet, but he managed to talk to only two of them. I was a bit concerned. Was this guy I was trying to help actually a stalker?