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My name's Sam Kelleher, and I am a Senior Full-Stack Web Developer / Software Architect based in London. This website mostly contains a sample of work from my portfolio, tips, and best practicies for building web applications, and reviews + photos of food and hotels in London.

10 tips for preparing for meetups and conferences.

  1. Always sit as close and center to the front as possible. This is where all the action happens. This is where photos and videos are taken. Be included!
  2. Always bring business cards, one for your company, and one for yourself. Take your own ones incase you make a connection with a company you wouldn’t mind working for etc, rather than a company you wouldn’t mind doing business with.
  3. Always bring stickers. Self-branded stickers are really fun. Most of these tech campuses have objects or notice boards to which you can affix stuff. A sticker makes it possible to promote yourself and attach your business card to the wall or object.
  4. Consider taking flyers - basically a larger business card to stick to the wall.
  5. Wear t-shirt branded with your startup.  Have your own company? Get free promotion wearing it, you’ll ultimately be photographed and put on the events websites anyway.  Other people will be wearing their startups t-shits, some will even wear t-shirts of other companies like Google and not even be employees.
  6. Take photos (and share them on social media). Generally seek permission first, but taking photos (good photos) or people you meet or of people in general is a great way to make connections later on. You can uploads these photos to the groups event website, which allows you to make contacts after the event as people will share and tag themselves in photos you upload.  It’s also a good way into to contact people you meet - ‘hey I got this really good photo of you last night...'
  7. Get a haircut / groom.  Don’t show up all messy and scruffy. Take at least some pride. Photos will be taken, and you’ll want to look good. Also it gives you a confidence boost when it comes to approaching people.
  8. Avoid taking friends, as good as they are, unless they are interested in the event themselves, they will just distract you.  Going on your own in this case would be better as it encourages you to actually be pro-active when approaching others to befriend.
  9. This leads me on to, always talk to people around you. Don’t stand next to them for 10 minutes and then introduce yourself, the window will close. Start straight away. In the queue outside, in the entrance hall, in the canteen, etc etc.
  10. Always start with a solid introduction. A good handshake, My names X and I work at Y. If the event gives our named badges/lanyards - wear it. It identifies you as a participant, and gives your name and company for everybody to see. Some people use this to write their twitter name (if it’s the same as their actual name). Since people also wear these name-badges, it means they want you to know your name - so when you see someone interesting, call out 'Hey (x), nice t-shirt...' etc
And finally, my bonus tip.
  1. Always follow up on new contacts, quickly. Within 24 hours of the event - say hi by email to the people you met.  If you have your own mailing list or blog, include a few lines in the email asking them if they would like to subscribe or have a read. Invite them to follow you on Twitter etc etc.  Most importantly, if for business, invite them to a follow up coffee.
  2. Go with some idea in mind of the next event you'll be attending so you can invite any new friends you make to come with you - ensuring you don't slip out of touch with people you've just met.
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