The NRB Christian Media Convention is a premier conference for Christian communicators who work in radio, film, television, church media, digital marketing, and the like. Throughout the conference, participants hear from industry leaders and develop new skills from keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops. The NRB Convention is ideal for ministry, organization, and business leaders who want to learn how to engage their audience effectively and connect with others in the industry. Below are five tips for attending the NRB Convention in 2022 and best practices for networking while you’re there.
1. Know Why You’re Attending the NRB Convention
For most of us, the NRB Convention is an opportunity to connect with ministry and business partners. It’s the one time we can meet face-to-face every year to review and strategize about current or new work for the year ahead. It’s a time to renew and strengthen relationships. For many, it’s also a time to learn new skills from the various seminars at the event, helping to prepare you for all God has for us in the upcoming year and beyond.
2. Review the NRB Schedule Beforehand
There’s a lot to see, hear, and do at the NRB Convention, from Hospitality Lounge activities to scheduled meetings with ministries to educational sessions and more. It’s important to review the event schedule ahead of time to ensure you get the most out of the conference. You can view the up-to-date schedule here.
3. Stroll the Exposition Floor and Hospitality Lounge Row
The NRB Exposition floor features nearly 200 exhibitors and vendors offering various products, services, and opportunities. Make sure you carve out a block of time to peruse the floor. You can check out the list of exhibitors beforehand and schedule appointments in advance.
4. Utilize Club 44 for Meetings
If you are going to host meetings, then the Club 44 shared meeting area is the best and only option other than staking out a table in the various bars and restaurants. If you’re attending the programming at the event to improve your skills and learn more, you may not need Club 44, but Club 44 is the best option for pre-scheduled meetings.
5. Consider On-Site Press
Have your PR person contact NRB to get information about journalist attendance and the press area. You can distribute your press release to the attendees and likely get a contact list of media attending the event.
Networking Tips for the NRB Convention
Establishing new partnerships and stewarding old connections is an essential part of the NRB Convention. You’ll have the opportunity to meet key decision-makers in your industry, as well as other dedicated Christian media and communications professionals and the companies and ministries who are seeking them. To make the most of this opportunity to form lasting friendships and professional partnerships, follow these networking best practices.
Stay in the Same Hotel as the Conference
The more time you spend attending networking events and passing conference participants and speakers in the hallway, the more likely you are to form new connections. A “chance” meeting in a hallway at the conference hotel can lead to greater opportunities later on. Plus, you can easily attend all events, dinners, and activities held at the hotel or nearby locations.
Create a Schedule and Go Prepared
Review the NRB event schedule and plan out your days, including the speakers you want to hear, workshops you wish to attend, and exhibitors you want to meet. Go a step further and connect with said people on social media, read their latest works, and prepare questions ahead of time should you have the opportunity to meet them.
Download and Use the Event App
Send an Email or Social Connect Before the NRB Convention
Start networking before the conference by sending an email or reaching out on social media to people you want to connect with while there. Be mindful that speakers might not have an extended time to meet with you 1:1. In your email, share that you value their time and hope for a minute or two to introduce yourself at the convention.
Arrive When Registration Opens
Registration is just not just a time to get your nametag and event packet. It’s also an opportunity to gauge who else is there and identify people you want to connect with throughout the day.
Sit Near the Front
Sitting near the front of the sessions you attend ensures you can hear the speaker and see any slides used throughout their presentation. It also puts you closer to the speaker, making it easier to approach them after their presentation.
Have a few questions prepared should a speaker open the floor or you attend a discussion workshop. Before asking your questions, state your name and where you work to give people an opportunity to connect with you later if desired.
Use Social Media
Post on social media during the conference, and tag people you’ve met or hope to meet. Talk positively about speakers, panels, sessions, and the conference using the NRB Convention hashtag #NRB2022.
Bring Business Cards
Make sure to have a handful of business cards to give to people you’re genuinely interested in connecting with after the conference. Be ready to accept other people’s business cards as well. When you receive a business card from a potential connection, take notes on the card once they walk away so you can remember your conversation and follow up later with specifics.
Check the Nametag
Keep your nametag visible, and check other people’s nametags–that’s what they are for! Connecting with people on a first-name basis is a key element of effective networking.
Don’t “Work the Room”
The goal of networking is not to meet as many people as possible but to make lasting connections with people you genuinely want to work with in some capacity. A lot of short conversations filled with “small talk” are less effective than a few meaningful conversations with select individuals.
Attend the Networking Reception
The networking reception is a good opportunity to make face-to-face connections with people in your industry. Make the most of this time and aim to follow up with people you met throughout the convention, as well as make any last-minute connections.
Follow Up After the Conference
Networking doesn’t end once the NRB Convention is over. Now it’s time to nurture the relationships, whether you connect socially on LinkedIn or send an email to continue the conversation. Don’t get so busy when you get home that you don’t follow up on your connections from the conference. Also, don’t follow up the next day. Set aside time at least a week after the convention to follow up. This gives you time to catch up, and more importantly, it gives them time too.
This year’s NRB Convention takes place March 8-11, 2022, at the Gaylord Opryland convention center. Register today and start preparing for a fantastic time of connection with other Christian leaders in the communications industry. To learn more about the NRB Convention, go to www.NRBconvention.org.