10 Convention Etiquette Tips

a man sits in the audience at a convention presentation and takes notes

a man sits in the audience at a convention presentation and takes notesJordan WarshafskyBy Jordan Warshafsky, Partner, Ashton Tweed

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Poor behavior and improper etiquette can make a lasting negative impression when meeting people for the first time. Set yourself up for success at your next industry convention. Following these etiquette tips can go a long way when developing new professional relationships.


1. When networking, listening is more important than talking. Ask the other person about him or herself and truly engage in their answers. Talk about yourself or your work briefly and concisely unless they show further interest.


2. Do your best not to interrupt presentations or speeches. Turn off or silence your cell phone, and save discussions for afterwards. If you must speak, be as brief and discreet as possible.


3. Arrive early or on time for events. Entering late is not only disrespectful to the presenter, but it also disrupts those attendees who arrived on time.


4. Try not to dominate the Q&A time at the end of a session. Be aware that other attendees might have questions that need to be addressed before the speaker leaves.


5. Read registration materials to find out suggested attire and dress appropriately. Also, pay attention to personal hygiene by cleaning up before events and carrying mints for fresh breath.


6. Respect the personal space of others. In order to ensure the comfort of your networking contacts, be sure not to stand too close to them, especially at crowded conventions.


7. Know your limits and follow the two drinks rule if necessary. You represent yourself as well as your company, so be aware of your behavior when enjoying an alcoholic beverage.


8. Keep your hands free to greet others. If you have a drink or snack, carry it in your left hand so that your right hand is free and clean to shake hands.


9. When you receive a business card, take a moment to look it over and express your interest through a question or compliment.


10. Don’t be glued to your phone. This comes off as rude and insincere. If you must lend attention to a call or email, excuse yourself and step aside to privately address it.


Interested in life science networking events? Check out Ashton Tweed’s networking events calendar here.

Share your insights! Contact jamesrudman@ashtontweed.com to contribute your life sciences article as a guest writer.


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