Networking is by far the most important reason to attend AME Mineral Exploration Roundup, said AME members surveyed on-site by the NRG Research Group at Roundup 2018. According to the survey results, providing networking opportunities for mineral explorers is the most important activity AME undertakes and it is what we excel at. Heeding this feedback, we have packed networking opportunities into every corner of the Roundup 2019 schedule.
The purpose of networking is to build a web of business connections to create opportunities for yourself, your business, and your colleagues. We all network differently and for different purposes. With that in mind, the Roundup Committee and AME staff have crafted events and opportunities for all our members, from scientists looking for the latest research and technology, to investors looking for projects and partnerships, to students and graduates looking for opportunities and guidance.
“The Ice Breaker and BC Night are the most well-attended networking events, but new activities like the Project Generators and Innovation Hubs are creating platforms for attendees to have mineral exploration industry-specific conversations, and facilitate the connections and opportunities our members are asking for,” said Simone Hill, Director, Events & Membership.
Fortune favours the brave, so take a deep breath and step into that buzzing ballroom with a smile and a pocket full of business cards.
Networking sharpens your elevator pitch
Networking events require you to introduce yourself over and over again. Take this as an opportunity to master your elevator pitch – a succinct and persuasive story about yourself delivered in less than 20 seconds, about the length of an average elevator ride. It is a key networking tool and the more you deliver it, the sharper it becomes, and the more your confidence grows.
If you need evidence that a sharp elevator pitch pays dividends, read this story by Lesley Stokes in The Northern Miner. She recalls how, in 2014, Mario Stifano, president and CEO of Cordoba Minerals shared an elevator with international financer Robert Friedland and sparked the billionaire’s interest in the San Matias project in northern Colombia. By May the following year, the two had signed a $1 million deal.
“It was literally an elevator pitch,” Stifano recalls of the chance encounter during a phone interview with The Northern Miner. “I had 31 floors to tell him about the project … and by the time we reached the top … he loved it.”
Connections create opportunities
The example above is perhaps an anomaly, but you never know when a connection made at a networking event will lead to a new opportunity. The BC and Yukon mineral exploration business is a close-knit community and the saying, “it’s not what you know but who you know” often rings true. Some opportunities may take a while to pan out, build slowly, or appear out of the blue. Cultivating relationships takes energy and when it comes to changing jobs or approaching a new business deal, the power of a personal referral from a trusted contact cannot be underestimated.
It’s like LinkedIn, but in real life
Talking to real people in real life is becoming increasingly rare. Numerous studies document the social and emotional impacts of superficial online connections, social media addictions, and diminished interpersonal skills. The way we work is also changing. Our industry, in particular, has seen an increase in remotely-managed teams, specialist short-term contractors, flexible working situations, and demanding travel schedules. We are becoming socially-isolated and lonely.
Networking at Roundup is the antidote, providing comradery, a change of scene, and new ways to look at problems. Networking is a chance to share your ideas and knowledge and welcome new people and perspectives into your network. Perhaps you might even meet a LinkedIn contact in person? It is an excellent ice-breaker!
Find your people
Good news, introverts! You don’t need to attend every networking event at Roundup to see a return on your social investment. Roundup 2019 has opportunity-focused networking events to suit all interests and personalities, from academic alumni meet-ups, to social events, to happy hour in the Core Shack. Find the events that suit you and you will find your people.
Networking is also an opportunity to encourage and support the people around you. A simple word of encouragement at a networking event could have an immeasurable impact on a colleague. Or perhaps you meet someone who is working in a position you would like to be in one day. Telling your story and offering advice can be uplifting for both participants in the conversation.
Events such as short courses and workshops bring together a select group of people working on a similar problem. The informal conversations during breaks can provide as much insight as the course itself, keeping you relevant and up-to-date on the latest methods. Also, testing out ideas in casual conversation is a great way to gather feedback and shape your project.
Whether you love it or hate it, networking is beneficial. Invest in yourself, hone that elevator pitch and find your people. Think about Roundup 2019 as 6,500 friends you haven’t met yet!
Mineral Exploration Roundup 2019 will take place January 28- 31, 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Center East.