Over 12,000 public health professionals will be taking over San Diego in 2018. Here are some tips for networking and make long-lasting connections.
Start the meeting off right – Whether this is the first time you’ve attended the Annual Meeting or you’ve been with us for years, the best place to get started is the New Member/First Time Orientation event taking place Sunday, Nov. 11, from 9:30 - 11 a.m. in the San Diego Convention Center. While it sounds like this event is geared toward newbies, everyone will learn about highlighted activities taking place, benefit from the networking tips and will have the chance to update their APHA membership. You’re sure to learn something new!
Be prepared - Make sure you pack your business cards and have them with you at all times, including while exploring San Diego. APHA will be taking over the city so you never know where you’ll make a new friend.
Always wear your badge – While in the meeting facilities, always wear your badge. This lets other attendees know who you are and that you’re part of the event. However, for safety concerns, we ask that you take your badge off when you leave the facility.
Socialize digitally - Voice your opinion and share your thoughts on social media using #APHA2018. Connect with the APHA Annual Meeting on Twitter @APHAAnnualMtg. Chat with someone digitally and you may meet them at the meeting!
Download the Mobile App – Available in Fall 2018, attendees will be able to communicate through the mobile app. If someone you know is attending but you don’t know how to reach them, see if they have a profile in the app.
Set goals - Make it a personal goal to meet at least five new people every day. Exchange information and follow up after the meeting.
Ask meaningful questions – Don’t just ask someone where they work or what they do. Find out what they are passionate about, who they are hoping to meet at the conference or what their personal interests are. You create a more meaningful relationship when you’re talking about something important.
Continue networking after the meeting - Follow up with new contacts or connect through LinkedIn.
So where should you network?
Everywhere! Start a conversation anywhere; walking to the center, between sessions, in the Expo. It’s up to you to break the ice, but we’ve created environments that will help you do just that:
- Social events — Events such as the Awards Ceremony, hosted receptions and ticketed luncheons (additional fee) are a great way to network and meet people in a fun and relaxed environment.
- Member group events — APHA’s member groups focus on specific interest areas in public health and typically hold business meetings and socials during the Annual Meeting. Joining a section is a great way to network and share ideas with peers of similar interests.
- Section/SPIG pavilion — You can meet the leaders of your member group in the Public Health Expo at the Section/SPIG pavilion.
- Mix and Mingle Lounge — One of the hottest spots during the Annual Meeting! Strike up a conversation between sessions or during your breaks.
- In the Expo — Our exhibitors are public health professionals just like you and they are looking to share information and hear from attendees. You never know who you will meet while roaming through the exhibit aisles.
- In the Hotel Lobby — APHA has negotiated with a number of hotels to provide attendees with discounted sleeping rooms. Be sure to book your stay with official APHA's hotels. Take advantage of the number of attendees that will be flowing through the hotel. Network in the lobby, the coffee shop or the hotel restaurant. The possibilities are endless.