Five years ago, Barcelona’s city council started a fall season tradition: Barcelona International Community Day (BICD), an event designed to link newly arrived professionals (and their families) and with locals and seasoned expats. It’s a big affair, but one that offers “smaller stages”, which makes it ideal for introvert/ambivert as well as extrovert superconnectors.
For the 2017 edition, over 4,500 people registered and there were 75+ exhibitors. We have attended all of the previous editions, and plan to be at this next one too.
For the fifth edition of BICD, the organizers revisited this founding purpose by naming LINKED as the theme. It’s as applicable in year five as it was in year one: getting connected to others isn’t just for newcomers!
The great thing about this event is that it really offers something for everyone. So, let’s look at how you can best capitalize on this event in true superconnector fashion.
BICD BASIC PREP
Take a look at the program and see what workshops, round table discussions and capsule events that are most interesting to you. The program is color-coded by interest area and you can also download it. (At the end of this piece, we list of a few top picks.)
Check out the exhibitors and note the businesses that most interest you. Research the team and the decision maker and reach out to them beforehand to let them know that you plan to stop by their booth. Since those working the booths tend to do so in shifts, if you want to have a quick chat with the owner or decision maker, you may need to line up that chat in advance.
This approach is also advisable for the other content providers you would like to connect with – workshop facilitators, panel participants, capsule organizers, etc.
It’s a busy day for everyone involved, so don’t take it personally if your request for a one-to-one doesn’t get a yes. However, this initial outreach gets the connection in motion.
THAT PERSON SITTING NEXT TO YOU WHILE YOU WAIT FOR A WORKSHOP OR PANEL TO START?
Say hi to them. Ask them about the discoveries they’ve made so far. Find out where they are from. This waiting period is a golden opportunity to meet someone with whom you have some sort of common ground. After all, you both came to this event! (A built-in starting point.)
LIKE WHAT YOU HEAR, SEE OR LEARN? SAY IT!
Every one of the presenters, facilitators and panelists present that day is eager to have a meaningful impact on their audiences. Don’t be the least bit shy about approaching them after the discussion, workshop or capsule to tell them that they succeeded. Trust us, they appreciate that feedback, and it can be great way to begin an interesting connection.
If you’re not able to speak with them in person, send them an email or a LinkedIn connection request with a message that references the event and what you liked most about their presentation.
This is not calculated flattery. It’s kindness as a strategy, a key part of the superconnector ethos.
TAKE THE LONG VIEW
As with previous years, there will be 75+ exhibitors in 2018. Some will be of more direct value to you than others. However, try to visit exhibitors for which you don’t have an immediate need but a future need. It never hurts to have resources on ice. Moreover, it’s entirely possible that someone in your network will need an exhibitor’s service or contact info one, two, ten weeks down the road.
A FEW STRATEGIC PICKS
Need help with your elevator pitch? There’s a workshop at noon in Sala Collserola.
Or, a workshop to learn about your personal brand: 15h in Sala Besòs.
Or stop by –and say hi– in Sala Collserola at 16:45 where along with other experts on Female Talent in Barcelona, I’ll take part in a round table discussion moderated by Maria Jose Blanco, Entrepreneurial Program Manager of Barcelona Activa.
Hate networking and can’t imagine doing it on a Saturday? Then drop in for a Bollywood Masterclass at 13h? But bring your business cards just in case you get there and wish you had one to hand out!
REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL
BTW, this event is free.
Look forward to seeing you there!
Cris Kristofits is a serial event-er with a passion for meeting new people and a diverse network of superconnectors in Barcelona. If you want to make her heart flutter, look her in the eye and say the three magic words every networker loves to hear. She is a cofounder of The Tell Me More Project and the VP of Community Relations for the Barcelona chapter of the Professional Women’s Network (PWN). Connect with Cris on LinkedIn. Or, search #seeCris on Facebook to keep up with her event-ing .