10 Tips from a PMDMC Superstar
by Chelan Lippincott, YPpubmedia Advisory Board Member and Membership and Administrative Director at 91.3 KBCS Bellevue/Seattle
Great news YPs! Summer is here and PMDMC is just around the corner. Get ready to visit beautiful Denver and meet some of the amazing young people in our public media community. Here are my #PMDMC tips to have the best conference experience yet.
- Make conference buddies early. YPpubmedia and PBSDigital are hosting a meet & greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday night at the Yard House, just a few steps from the conference hotel. Be sure to come out and meet other YPs. You’ll be thanking yourself all week when you’ve got at least one familiar face everywhere you go!
- Get to sessions, happy hours, and lunches early. What’s the trick to walking into a room and not looking lost? Drum roll please…be one of the first people in the room!
- Don’t be the one who drops their plate of food. There is a technique of holding a drink and plate in between your fingers on the same hand, but I have yet to master this. Stick to one item in your left hand so the other is free to shake hands and share your business card.
- Business cards. Ah, yes. Business cards. Bring a giant stack of them, but be genuine about giving them out. Write your Twitter handle on the back so your new friends can follow you during the conference.
- Tweet at @YPpubmedia and @GreaterPublic and use the hashtag #PMDMC. Going online is a great place to get the latest scoop on what’s happening. You can often gain insight on what’s going on in other sessions or where all of your friends from the meet and greet are headed for dinner. But don’t just follow what everyone else is saying. The more you tweet with @GreaterPublic and @YPpubmedia, the more you’ll be visible in the conversation, and the more people are likely to remember you post-conference.
- Be sincere when you meet someone. “Networking” is less about telling the other person about what you’ve accomplished and more about letting them talk about themselves so you can make some mental notes about what to reach out to them about after the conference. Take note of what their role is at their organization and ask them what problems they’re trying to overcome.
- Take notes. Whenever you have a minute to spare (and sometimes you’ll want to just sneak away into a corner because you’re on introduction overload), take five to jot down some notes about who you’ve recently met, what they look like (wearing green glasses, was two feet taller than me, matching pant suit, etc.) and what you might be able to tap them about in the future.
- Stay on your toes and away from rehearsed lines. The elevator pitch is kind of old and boring. Yes, you should be able to tell someone what you do and what you’re passionate about in a short amount of time, but if you’re spitting out a rehearsed 60 second speech to every person you meet it will start to get stale. Be genuine.
- Be active. If a speaker is a person on your must-meet list, sit up front and ask at least one insightful question. After their session is done, be the first to jump up and introduce yourself and tell them why you’ve been looking forward to meeting them.
- Bring a jacket. It gets said a lot and seems silly, but is crucial to a positive conference experience. It gets damn cold in hotel conference rooms.
On behalf of the entire YPpubmedia advisory board, we are really looking forward to meeting you in Denver. Learn more about our YP events and reach out to us in advance (@YPpubmedia) and tell us which sessions you’re looking forward to.