- Treat people as people first. Mostly just be curious about people & their brains. To be curious about people, ask them how they're doing. To be curious about brains, ask them what they've been thinking about recently.
- Be aware of how much each person is talking. Roughly equal for everyone in a group. If just you + one other person, try for 75% them.
- Try not to spend more than 15min per group, even if the convo is good. Your goal is to chat with lots of folks, not just a few. Leave by thanking them, then saying you're going to get food or go to the bathroom.
- If it was a good convo, ask to connect. Start with Twitter, and then move to other ways to connect if need be.
- When hunting for a new group, look for groups of 1 or 2 people and just jump in. Say "hey, can I join?" Shake hands. Then say "what were you just talking about?"
- Remember, this isn't high school. People are excited to chat and meet new folks! If they aren't, they wouldn't be there.
- Only try to talk to "important people" if they aren't surrounded by others. Also, a reminder that 90%+ of the value in networking comes from the long tail, not just the few folks we all follow on Twitter.
- Spend 5min every 30min to just take a break, look at the group, snack, hang at the side.
- Have fun! Follow your energy! Connect! It's really about finding folks that you vibe with and then vibing with them. If you're not vibing, get out. If you are, stay and connect.
Let me know if you have other tips that have worked for you!