Why should you talk to speakers at events?
Speakers are not invited to give a presentation by coincidence. They are the experts. If they weren’t, it would not be them on stage, but somebody else. Experts are always good to know to update your knowledge. And more importantly in the context of networking: they are most likely people with a large and interesting network.
Because of their expertise they are invited by several organisations. So they probably know the presidents or chair(wo)men. They have customers, suppliers and partnerships too. They also attend meetings and conferences themselves. And because of their status as a speaker they are likely to come in contact with the so-called “higher profiles”. To have them in your network and be welcomed in theirs is definitely a recommendation. So talk to them.
Many people ask me: “But who am I to talk to this expert speaker?”
Let me tell you a little secret about speakers. They are asked by many organisations they don’t really know. And they speak at events they never would have visited if they weren’t invited to give a presentation. Not that they are not interested, but they also have only 24 hours per day.
As a consequence lots of speakers feel a little uncomfortable once they get off stage. And because many organisers are so busy with the practical details of the event, many speakers feel left alone. And although some of them are (or have become) good networkers and feel at ease, lots of them still have the same issues at starting, maintaining and ending a conversation.
So the next time you are at an event where there is a speaker, talk to her. She will be a great asset for your network. And make sure that you are perceived as a valuable contact too. Remember “Give and Receive”. Maybe the only thing you have to offer is some minutes of your time or an introduction to someone else. But that’s OK, maybe you will have made the difference just by doing this.
Have a great next (networking) event !
PS: this is an excerpt from my network book “Let’s Connect!” (www.letsconnect.be)