News and Events
Thank you to Cerium Networks for sponsoring TecNet on June 8, 2017 at the Parsec Data Center in Billings, MT. We kicked off the summer with an amazing turnout along with an impressive exchange of ideas among these IT professionals. The warmer weather conditions provided for outdoor enjoyment and thirsty individuals. Local cuisine catered by The Meat Shack BBQ and beverages by Angry Hanks. Prizes included gift cards and City Vineyard beer and wine baskets.
These events are held quarterly throughout the year to invite those working in the regional tech industry to network and share in their interest of technology in a relaxed environment. We thank all of our attendees and sponsors, both new and old. Come join us next time at our TecNet event this fall!
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Arrow Solutions Group was an event sponsor at MIDTECH Spring 2017 conference in Las Vegas this year. We loved spending a couple days with clients and networking with other visionaries in the field.
MIDTECH was a great opportunity for Arrow Solutions to meet with companies in all industries from all over the company. It was an awesome event where Arrow Solutions was able to showcase our skills! There was an education component to the event, one-on-one meetings with IT leaders as well as a couple fun evening receptions.
Arrow Solutions encourages IT Executives to attend MIDTECH to meet with peers and potential partners, network, learn of IT trends, etc. If you are interested in attending (Chicago in the Fall or Las Vegas in the Spring), please reach out to us and we will get you an invite.
Arrow Solutions plans to be in Las Vegas for MIDTECH again next year!
Arrow Solutions Group will be joining the Ninth Annual North Dakota I.T. Symposium on May 3, 2017, in Fargo, North Dakota. This IT Symposium explores critical business, technology, and leadership strategies while serving as a professional peer network platform and a deep-dive into real-world knowledge on business changing technology and management solutions.
Featured speakers include; Matthew O’Keefe, VP and Corporate Technologists with Oracle, Joe Jaszkowiak, Director of IT Services for HERE, Harley D. Rinerson, Cyber Security Advisor, Region VIII, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and more.
Arrow Solutions Group is proud to be a sponsor of what should be a rewarding and productive event. We look forward to seeing you there!
If you’re coming out to see us at MIDTECH, we know you’re probably there to learn and expand your network. Conferences are an ideal place to meet new people, reach out to industry leaders, and find answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask. As everyone says, your network and contacts can make all the difference in the next five to ten years.
Networking is easier said than done, though, and we know how nerve wracking small talk can be–never mind the business card swap and follow-up emails. Even extroverts struggle to keep up all day for several days in a row–networking is an ongoing learning process for everyone. That being said, here are our top ten tips for networking well at conferences.
- Know Your Targets: If you’re lucky enough to snag a seat at a conference like MIDTECH, take the time to review the speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors. Most conferences publish their attendee lists in advance (thanks, MIDTECH!) so you can do your research early. See who you want to meet and where they’ll be at the event. Make sure your schedule links up with theirs at least once, and make a considered effort to reach out beforehand to ensure a quick face-to-face.
- Don’t Waste Time: Most conferences are held (and co-sponsored) by a hotel. By booking a room an elevator ride away from the action, you’re ensuring that every second counts–you’ll waste less time commuting and be able to swing downstairs for impromptu dinners or cocktail hours. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need some time to decompress before and after your meetings–don’t book flights that bumper right up to the start and end times.
- Keep (At Least!) One Hand Free: Eat before you go. It may sound old-fashioned, but eating before events where food or drink is served ensures that you won’t be juggling a plate of food, a drink, and your phone or wallet. Keep one hand free for meeting new people and handing out business cards. While you’re at it, keep your drink or plate in the same hand all night, so you’re not shaking hands with condensation or pasta sauce between your fingers.
- Mitigate Shyness by Cheating: Show up to an event early, and let the crowd form around you. It helps to set up camp in a central place where groups will naturally congregate, allowing you to scope out your peers and potential contacts without feeling pressured to push into a crowd. It may be tempting to stick to a wall and watch from a distance, but pushing out of your comfort zone is one part bravery and one part planning; if you set up in the middle of a room, you’re less likely to disappear to the outskirts. Make an effort and see how well people react–confidence is a true “fake it until you make it” skill.
- Quality Over Quantity: Handing out your business card to every stranger you meet is one way to build contacts, yes, but it’s not very memorable. Keep your conversations meaningful, helpful, and ensure that you’re making a positive impression above all else. Networking is about finding the right connections, not all the connections. Bring a little humor and a lot of sincerity to the conversation (and keep the bragging to a minimum).
- Avoid Elevator Pitches: They seem slick and easy when you’re building them, but an elevator spiel has no place in a conference. Instead, begin a dialogue and let the conversation and connections happen organically. Forcing every skill you have into a five-minute speech isn’t going to help open any doors for you–no matter how witty. Tailor what you share to the specific conversation–idle or meaningless chit-chat is wasting both of your time.
- Leave Your Phone Alone: Giving your full attention–meaning no emails, no social media, and no phone calls–ensures that those you’re talking to feel confident that you’re invested in what they have to say. In the same vein, it’s not only impolite to scan the room for other potential conversations, but it can be severely off-putting and unprofessional. If you realize you don’t want to keep talking, wish the person success, thank them for the conversation, and make a graceful exit.
- Use Body Language to Your Advantage: If you’ve read almost any networking article, you know how important body language is in a conversation. Turn your body to face the person you’re talking to, look them in the eye, and offer a firm handshake. When you’re walking or waiting to join a conversation, don’t look at the ground, and smile. A welcoming attitude will be reciprocated.
- Have Questions: If you’ve read the speaking list, you know what topics will be discussed. Prepare and loosely memorize a few questions in advance, showcasing your knowledge of the subject and adding to the conversation. It’s fine to disagree, as long as you do so respectfully–it doesn’t hurt to be creative and original, either. If the speaker doesn’t offer a Q&A after their presentation, don’t hesitate to email your questions; if you want to really stand out, include the title of the presentation in your email header.
- Work in Teams: If you’re lucky enough to attend a conference with a business partner or contact, don’t hesitate to help each other initiate conversations, welcome each other to groups, or create new relationships. Be sure you’re not spending all your time speaking just with each other, but don’t be afraid to start your own conversation and draw others in. Knowing your wish-list of accomplishments for the conference (and vice versa) can help you cover ground more efficiently.
If you’re headed to MIDTECH this weekend, please stop and see us!
We’ll find the right opportunity for you.
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