Networking is never particularly easy, and it’s even tougher when done in a crowded setting such as a conference. The next time you venture out to a big networking-heavy gathering, our Bay City Connections leaders encourage you to use the following effective strategies.

First of all, you need to hone a concise and compelling elevator pitch before you even think about walking into an industry function. When you can express your unique value in a minute or less, you give yourself a major advantage in connecting with others. Make sure you focus a large portion of your pitch on how you can help others reach their ambitious goals.

We at Bay City Connections also recommend asking lots of insightful questions as you work to forge meaningful bonds with industry peers and influential leaders. Ask fellow attendees what brought them to the event and what their overall impressions of it are. If you get the chance to meet top leaders who have already spoken as part of the festivities, you have some built-in icebreakers to exploit. Use them to lay the foundation for a deeper bond further down the line, and do your best to expand this connection to other colleagues.

Our Bay City Connections team uses these techniques to great effect, and we hope you will employ them the next time you set out to build your network.