June 14, 2013

Get the most out of networking opportunities at JAM

By Dr. Greg Lardy, ASAS President-Elect

The Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) is a fantastic opportunity for networking within the animal science profession. Whether you are a first time attendee or have been coming to the meeting since before it was actually JAM, there are opportunities galore for meeting new people, renewing acquaintances and networking. In this issue of Taking Stock, I’ll offer some pointers related to making the most of those networking opportunities.

  1. Pre-plan your meeting. Who are the attendees you would like to meet with? Are they giving a talk in an oral session or presenting a poster? If so, you already know of one time when you could meet them in person. If not, you are going to have to work a bit harder to ensure you have an opportunity to meet. Be sure you go through the JAM schedule before the meeting and determine which presentations and poster sessions you want to attend and pay particular attention to those which offer a desired networking opportunity. You can use the meeting planner to get the most out of your days at JAM.
  2. Coffee breaks, receptions, and social gatherings are prime networking time. Coffee breaks, receptions, and other socials functions are an excellent opportunity for you to meet people and network. If you are interested in meeting and networking with ruminant nutritionists, get a cup of coffee and head for the ruminant nutrition posters. If you are a coffee drinker, be sure to get signed up for the ASAS Foundation Coffee Cup Program so your cup never runs dry during the meeting.
  3. Business cards. Be sure you take your own business cards along to the meeting, but even more importantly, be sure you are collecting cards from others as you go about the meeting. When you are introduced to someone, don’t be afraid to ask for their business card.
  4. Social networks. Connect with attendees via LinkedIn, Twitter, ResearchGate, or other social networks. These are great ways to ‘follow’ professionals who you are interested in or who work in the same field and discipline as you do. ASAS has a Facebook group and Twitter account where you can follow meeting news.
  5. Trade show. Be sure to visit the trade show and take advantage of networking opportunities which exist in the trade show. Vendors, supplies, and other business networking opportunities await!
  6. Phone apps. Phone apps like Socialink are a good way to manage your networks and keep track of the people you meet along the way. Socialink allows you to connect with people in real time while you are face to face with them. It avoids the problem of trying to remember how to spell names or collect business cards from each person you meet.

Learn more about JAM 2013

Related article: Dress for success as an animal scientist