After the IAITAM European ACE, you’ll return to your organization with the tools to start or improve your IT Asset Management program. You’ll go home having heard from ITAM experts and gained real-world advice. And, if you’re willing to put in the energy to network, you’ll return with a few new strangers-turned-colleagues!

Here are some networking best practices to consider if you want to make a friend, identify a prospect or find someone to eat lunch with!

  1. BE Prepared: Networking starts before you get on the plane to the Netherlands
    • — Stock up: Bring business cards, business stamps or your social media information. Remember to offer only one or two initial channels of communication such as your phone number, email address or LinkedIn. Your new friend will feel overwhelmed if they get your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest handles all at once!
    • — Network on Social Media: Search the #IAITAMACE hashtag on Twitter to find other people attending the conference. Follow them, get to know them and then seek them out in Amsterdam!
    • — Set a Goal: You won’t be able to talk to everybody in two days, and you shouldn’t try! Set a goal to, for example, talk to 5-10 new people per day. If you’re extroverted, aim for more! And if you’re introverted, pat yourself on the back for speaking to one. Remember that networking is about quality, not quantity.
    • — Elevator explanation: Similar to an elevator pitch, an elevator explanation is a brief account of who you are, what organization you work for and why you’re attending the conference. Aim for less than two sentences!
  2. BE Approachable
    • — Wear That Smile: Look friendly! Just make sure it’s a genuine smile and not one worn by used car salesmen.
    • — Look like Your Pictures: Do you usually wear your hair up, but it’s down in your LinkedIn profile pic? Consider wearing it like that at the conference so that people will recognize you. Were you wearing glasses in your pic, but now prefer contacts? Again—consider reverting for a few days. Some networking experts suggest you wear the exact same shirt you have on in your LinkedIn picture! If people recognize you, they’re more likely to approach you!
  3. BE Brave: It’s rarely easy to talk to a stranger
    • — What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen: Ask yourself this question when you feel anxious. Perhaps the worst thing that could happen is that person simply doesn’t want to have a conversation. Don’t take rejection personally!
    • — Start by Listening: If a group is having a conversation, listen before you chime in. Then, once you have something to contribute, add your two cents and your name along with it. Greet everyone with a firm handshake.
    • — What to Say: Don’t know what to say for an opening line other than, “Hi, my name is…”? Try questions like “Can I join you?” or “What do you think about…?” Reference the speaker or session you both recently heard.
    • — Look for Similarities: If you’re having trouble identifying who to talk to in the crowd, try looking for commonalities. Talk to the guy who has the same shoes you do. Talk to the girl who has that purse you’re thinking about buying. Simple bonding can lead to a significant relationship!

For more help, check out 7 Tips for Networking by Colleen DeBaise on Entrepreneur.com, or 17 Tips to Survive Your Next Networking Event by Darrah Brustein at Forbes.com.