I’ve been a regular at tech related MeetUps for the past few years, and here are some things I’ve learnt over time:
- ⏰ Be early. After all the talks and demos, there will be a networking session. My advice is to reach the venue early and make sure you start chatting to either some of the attendees or presenters. This will get you in the mood for socialising with people and you won’t feel awkward when the official networking sessions starts and people are already chatting in groups. There might also be food, drinks and swag available. If you want any, you should be early, ‘cause they are gone quickly.
- 📝 Take Notes. Bring a laptop, tablet, phone…you know the spiel. Anything that captures your notes. Not all topics may be interesting for you as you may already be an expert in the matter, but it’s always good to revise your knowledge or get a new perspective.
- 🍻 Network. In case it wasn’t obvious already, MeetUps are the perfect place to network. It’s a chance to meet new and interesting people, and learn something new. If you’re not the type to drive the story, a good idea is to ask questions about the topics from the MeetUp. This is where your notes help. A good challenge is to aim to connect with at least 3 new people. There’s also beer to help you out.
- 😊 Smile. Remember to smile and bring a positive vibe to a MeetUp. It will help you connect better, learn and make the most out of the event. It’s common sense, but not everyone had an amazing day in the office before the MeetUp.