Conferences are a reality in the business world. Regardless of your profession, level of experience or the industry in which you work, networking events provide invaluable opportunities to enhance your career and personal growth. Given the traditional furtive nature of the private wealth environment, it makes attending events all the more valuable to the asset raising professional. But in order to walk away with golden nuggets of knowledge and promising new family office connections, you must know how to make the most of these opportunities.
"As the family office sphere is becoming broader and more diverse, it pays to be forward-thinking and attend conferences and other events both within and beyond the expected family office ones." - Francois Botha, Forbes Contributor
Conferences boast an interactive engagement model that allows for productive networking opportunities and meaningful discussions with those in the private wealth space. Once you decide to attend, your success relies on a great plan for before, during and after the event. Let's take a closer look.
Before the conference...
- Be well-prepared.
To walk away from an event feeling a sense of accomplishment, you must do the necessary work beforehand. For starters, research the event. Find out who is going, join and engage in conference groups (if possible) on Facebook, LinkedIn, mobile apps, etc. Discover any possible commonalities you share with the key decision makers of the family offices you wish to engage. See what they do, connect with them on social media (utilize hashtags!) and let them know you will both be attending the same event. Prepare questions or talking points in advance to fall back on or to help guide your conversations - this makes for warmer, more concrete face-to-face introductions and discussions.
Understand why you are attending.
- Effective networking requires purpose, preparation and practice. But regardless of where you land on the spectrum, it is worth noting that these skills can be acquired and strengthened over time. For starters, uncover the specific reason(s) for attending and write them down. This is a proven method to ensuring you achieve them. Once you identify true goals for yourself, it makes structuring your time a much easier process.
"Be clear about what it is you hope to gain by attending. Set 2-3 goals for yourself so that you can measure the impact of your time, effort and expense. This may include meeting X number of people, learning about a new trend, or connecting with a specific person or company." - Vaughn Farris, Senior Manager Strategic Programs, WBENC
- Leverage your alumni roots.
When preparing for a networking event, a powerful and often underrated approach is to leverage your alumni roots. While this rings true across a number of verticals, the value is even greater when leveraged in the world of family offices - where privacy, trust and authenticity are critical components of successful engagement. Your alumni association likely offers a great deal of benefits, resources and opportunities to stay connected over the years. In utilizing our comprehensive family office data and research platform, FINTRX users harness the Power Search module to generate targeted results based on set criteria such as keywords, mile radius, country, state, city, employment history, AUM, family wealth origin and asset class interest - to name a few. Among them is the Alma Mater Search parameter, which enables users to filter through family offices based on the colleges and universities their contacts attended. This is an excellent tool for a humanized outreach approach as it lays the foundation for future conversations.
"College alumni can be a friendly introduction to the art of networking. In the end, networking comes down to building relationships, and you have something major in common: You both said “yes” to the same school...When asked to reflect, alumni can often pinpoint the campus experience that ignited their passion for a particular field or gave them a leg-up when it came to landing their first big job after graduation." - The Princeton Review
At the conference...
- Be proactive & engaged.
Round up the courage to speak to the individuals who made an impact on you. Share who you are, why you are there, and what you are hoping to accomplish. If this is too intimidating, simply start by engaging with those around you. Keep your goals in mind and make the most of each encounter. Conferences unite senior executives in highly interactive spaces to network with and learn from one another - swapping ideas and making investor introductions.
Conferences offer multiple opportunities to hear different perspectives, share ideas and foster new relationships with family offices from around the world. The more engaged you are within the family office realm, the more appealing you will be to these private wealth managers. Being prepared, professional and proactive helps to ensure new connections that last. Beyond that, just try to relax and have some fun - and remember, the mindset you choose prior to the event impacts your performance and overall results.
After the conference...
- Have long-term follow-up methods in place.
Whether it may be a phone call, email or in-person meeting, strategic, long-term follow-up techniques demonstrate interest in working with them - which in turn, puts you at the forefront of their minds. Those who are more actively engaged over the long term (typically) have stronger chances of success. For more information on upcoming family office conferences, visit our FINTRX Events page - where we provide key information on family office conferences all over the world, in addition to their asset class focus, date(s), location and a link to the event.
By providing continuously updated family office data, capital raising tools and solutions, FINTRX continues to bring transparency to the family office ecosystem. If you are interested in learning additional information on our proprietary research, please click here.
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