How to create meaningful connections and build your professional network through event attendance
Networking is a critical skill for professionals in the hospitality industry. Whether you’re a hotel owner, manager, or vendor, building and maintaining a strong professional network can help you advance your career, find new business opportunities, and stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices in the industry. One of the best ways to network is through attending events such as the AAHOA Regional Conferences and Trade Show. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips and techniques for creating meaningful connections and building your professional network through AAHOA’s 20+ regional events.
1. SET GOALS
Before attending an event, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Are you looking to meet new people, learn about new products or services, or build relationships with potential business partners? Having a clear goal will help you stay focused and make the most of your time at the event.
2. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Research the event beforehand to identify key speakers, exhibitors, and attendees. Reach out to potential contacts or partners ahead of time to schedule a meeting or chat during the event. For AAHOA-hosted events, be sure to visit AAHOA.com beforehand.
3. BE OPEN AND APPROACHABLE
Networking is all about building relationships, so it’s important to be open and approachable. Smile, introduce yourself, and engage in conversation with others. Ask open-ended questions to get to know people better, and actively listen to their responses.
4. HAVE A CLEAR ELEVATOR PITCH
Be prepared to give a clear and concise elevator pitch about who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for. This will help you quickly communicate your value proposition to others and make a strong first impression.
5. FOLLOW UP
After the event, follow up with the people you met. Send a quick email or LinkedIn message to thank them for their time and reiterate your interest in staying in touch. Consider scheduling a follow-up call or meeting to discuss potential opportunities further.
The AAHOA Regional Conferences and Trade Shows are a great way for hotel owners and vendors to network and build relationships. As the largest hotel owners association in the world, AAHOA provides a unique platform for hospitality professionals to connect and engage with one another. The series includes regional events across the country, featuring educational sessions, keynote speakers, and an exhibition hall showcasing the latest products and services in the industry.
For vendors, the AAHOA Regional Conference and Trade Show series provides an opportunity to showcase their products and services directly to hotel owners and operators. By networking with attendees and building relationships, vendors can generate new leads, strengthen existing partnerships, and increase their visibility in the industry.
For hotel owners, the AAHOA Regional Conference and Tradeshow series provides an opportunity to connect with peers and learn about new products and services that can help them grow their business. By attending educational sessions and engaging with exhibitors, hotel owners can stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices and make informed decisions about their business.
Ultimately, networking is a critical skill for professionals in the hospitality industry, and events such as the AAHOA Regional Conference and Trade Show series provide a unique platform for building meaningful connections and relationships. By setting clear goals, doing your research, being approachable, having a clear elevator pitch, and following up, you can make the most of your time at events and build a stronger professional network that can help you achieve your career goals.
As director of events, I’ve had the opportunity to build my network through in-person interactions at our various events. These events bring together a diverse group of hospitality professionals, including hotel owners, operators, vendors, and industry experts. By planning and executing these events, I’ve been able to connect with a wide range of individuals, build relationships, and stay up to date on the latest industry trends and best practices. Through these events, I’ve also been able to provide valuable networking opportunities for attendees, helping them build their own professional networks and make meaningful connections that can help them advance their careers and grow their businesses.
Overall, networking is a key aspect of any event because it allows attendees to connect with others, build relationships, and expand their personal and professional networks. These connections can lead to new opportunities, collaborations, and growth, both personally and professionally.
Making meaningful connections