Networking 101: Why it Matters, What to Ask, What to Do, and What Not to Do

Jul 11, 2023

Welcome to SAASCON23 Networking 101!

As we gather to explore the latest trends and advancements in SaaS networking, let’s take a moment to make sure your networking is on point. Networking is about building relationships, so be yourself and let your authenticity shine through. Here are some tips for attendees to network better and make stronger connections:

Be Prepared: 

Before the event, research the speakers, exhibitors, and other attendees to identify individuals or companies you're interested in connecting with. Have a clear understanding of your own goals and what you hope to achieve through networking. 

Exchange Contact Information: 

When you meet someone you wish to stay connected with, exchange contact information such as business cards or LinkedIn or even via our SaaS Insider community. Follow up with a personalised message after the event to express your interest in staying connected and potentially exploring collaboration or future discussions.

Engage in Conversations: 

Start conversations with other attendees by introducing yourself, expressing genuine interest in their work or company, and asking open-ended questions to encourage meaningful discussions. Engage in online discussions, share valuable content, and connect with individuals you meet in person to foster long-term relationships. 

Listen and Learn:

Actively listen to others during conversations and be genuinely interested in what they have to say. Engage in meaningful discussions, ask follow-up questions, and learn from the experiences and insights shared by others. Share your experiences, lessons learned, and industry expertise to contribute value to the conversation. This can help establish yourself as a valuable contact and build credibility within the network.

As much as you know what to do, you should also know what not to do:

  • Avoid approaching conversations with a purely transactional mindset. Instead, focus on building rapport, establishing trust, and nurturing meaningful connections over time.

  • Learn to read the room and not to hound someone who is clearly busy or having a conversation with someone else. There’s enough conversation to go around!

  • It's important to be social and have fun, but don't overdo it. Drinking too much can make you look unprofessional and could even lead to embarrassing situations.

  • Don't give out your personal information. This includes your phone number or home address. Only give out this information to people you trust and who have a legitimate reason to have it.

  • Don't be negative. No one wants to talk to someone who is constantly complaining or negative. Focus on the positive and be someone that people enjoy being around.

When networking, it's important to engage in meaningful conversations to build connections, exchange information, and create opportunities. Here are some questions and conversation topics you can ask while networking -

Questions used by the SaaS Insider team

"When you see your job or industry in movies, which inaccuracy bothers you the most?"
"I hear there’s a cool bar somewhere on the fourth floor. Have you found it yet?"
"What is your favourite way to network?"

Introduction and Background:

"What brings you to SAASCON23?"
"How did you get started in your industry/profession?"
"What excites you most about your work?"

Current Industry Trends and Challenges:

"What do you think are the most significant trends impacting our industry?"
"What challenges are you currently facing in your work?"
"How do you stay updated with the latest industry developments?"

Professional Goals and Aspirations:

"What are your key professional goals for this year?"
"Is there a particular milestone or achievement you're aiming for?"
"How do you envision your career progressing in the next few years?"

Success Stories and Lessons Learned:

"Can you share a recent success or accomplishment that you're proud of?"
"What are some valuable lessons you've learned throughout your career?"
"Is there a particular project or initiative that taught you valuable skills or insights?"

Collaboration and Partnerships:

"Are there any areas where you're seeking collaboration or partnerships?"
"Do you have any current projects or initiatives that could benefit from external input?"
"How do you approach building successful partnerships in your work?"

Personal Development and Growth:

"Are there any books, podcasts, or courses that have had a significant impact on your professional growth?"
"What strategies do you employ for continuous learning and development?"
"Is there a specific skill or knowledge area you're currently working on improving?"

Advice and Mentorship:

"What advice would you give someone starting in our industry/profession?"
"Have you had any mentors who played a pivotal role in your career? How did they help you?"
"If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?"

Interests and Hobbies:

"What do you enjoy doing outside of work?"
"Have you read any interesting books or watched any inspiring movies lately?"
"Do you have any favourite hobbies or activities?"

Remember, active listening and genuine interest in the other person's responses are crucial for building rapport and meaningful connections. Use these questions and conversation topics as a starting point, but also be open to following the flow of the conversation and adapting based on the individual and context.

We hope this helps you while you’re at SAASCON23. Secure your spot to network with the best in SaaS.

Written By - Chameli Kuduva, Founder - SaaS Insider