Yesterday I attended my first MassTLC Unconference organized by the one and only Bill Warner. Hands down it is one of the events one cannot miss in the Boston Startup Scene. I don’t want to get in any other details but I quickly want to give some tips that worked for me to make some great connections.
1) DON’T BE SHY: This is on the top of my list because I myself am trying to become more outgoing and stop being shy. Don’t be scared because everyone there is there for the same reason and that is to make the Boston scene better. Some people might even be in the same place as you so just go upto someone and say hi.
2) Make a list of people you definitely want to meet: Before attending the event, I created a list of 8-10 people I had to meet. This sets a goal for yourself so you can follow up on it. This does not mean that you should only connect to those people but this is a starting point. I went through the experts list and then did a little bit of background search on each one to find out which person will be the best to meet. Then I wrote down the names on my iphone so I do not forget the names.
3) Don’t always be demanding: When you go to the event, don’t just go to network and meet the people that will help you with things that you are either working on or help you find a job or anything else. You should also network with people without having any expectations of help. This applies especially to VC’s. I met a couple well know VC’s in Boston at the event and networked with them who were very comfortable with me because they knew I wasn’t looking for money or any help. I just wanted to know them and connect to them and will followup for coffee and pick their brain.
4) Have a great story: Whenever I talked to someone I told a small story about me being young and how I got started in the startup scene. It was engaging to the listeners since it showed ambition and an early drive to do something at an early age. This was my selling point. Have something that the listener will remember you from.
5) Stalk people: Yes you heard it right! If you really want to talk to someone really bad then follow them around the event. I was introduced to a couple people by others. This newly introduced people were busy so I offered to walk with them or even have lunch with them so I could talk to them. This led to make even more connections. People are busy so you need to create chances to talk and not just wait for them to be open and then go up to them especially when there are hundreds of people at the event.
6) Have fun: Don’t be serious. Be smiling and crack some jokes while talking. Be outgoing and people will love you. Go with the flow of the conversation as well or if you are feeling risky than change it around haha.