Networking is a core element of belonging to a professional user group, which is why user groups flock to Oracle OpenWorld, one of the greatest venues for Oracle customers to make valuable connections, obtain information and share information with peers who have similar challenges and interests.
There are innumerable ways to connect with new people at the conference, including the many Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings, the Geographic (Geo) meetings, targeted educational sessions, social events and casual gatherings, the exhibit hall, etc. While there are many networking opportunities available at your fingertips at OpenWorld, some people are better at networking than others. For those who do not have the natural gift of gab, here are some conversation starters to encourage dialogue. Remember, open-ended questions usually work the best. Try these:What Oracle products are you using? How did you get involved in working with Oracle Apps? What are you looking to gain / accomplish from OpenWorld this year? Are there any sessions you're particularly looking forward to? What are you hoping to learn from that particular session? How would that help you in your job? When could I follow up with you by phone or email after the conference to find out how your project turned out?
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Always strike a healthy balance between talking and listening. Try to offer suggestions that might help the other person, too, such as sharing your own observations and goals. Introduce your new contact to other attendees. And, obviously, remember to bring plenty of business cards to make sure your new contacts can keep the conversation with you going even after the conference.
There is one day in particular that you can and should put these aforementioned tips to use. Mark your calendar for Sunday, Oct 25, for a great opportunity to jumpstart your networking at Oracle OpenWorld. On that day, the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) is hosting a session, “ 25 Reasons to Be an OAUG Member ,” at 9 a.m. in Moscone West-3012. As the OAUG celebrates 25 years of helping Oracle Applications users do their jobs better, this interactive session will offer 25 reasons to join the OAUG.
Also on that day, the OAUG Young Professionals Forum will meet at 12 p.m. in Moscone West – 3003. This session focuses on helping young and new professionals build a network of support outside their individual organizations. Use this member network to establish and build connections, access current educational information and influence Oracle.
Finally, make sure to connect with Oracle Applications users who live near you or share your unique interests at the dozens of OAUG Geo and SIG meetings throughout the day on Sunday.
Networking is one of the best ways to make the most out of Oracle OpenWorld. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new lasting relationships.
A Guest Post by, Melissa English President of the OAUG, the world’s largest user knowledgebase for Oracle Applications users. For more information, visit the OAUG’s website at oaug.org .