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How to Start Networking at SOCAP19 Now

SOCAP August 8, 2019

SOCAP19 isn’t until October, but the conversations have already started on Pathable–the official conference networking platform.
As of early August, hundreds of registered ticket holders have already created Pathable profiles and are using the app to learn about their fellow attendees, send introductory messages, and set meetings. If you have already bought your ticket to SOCAP19, but have not yet personalized your Pathable profile, we highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible.  A little preparation now can go a long way towards ensuring you get the most out of your SOCAP19 experience.

Why Start Now?

It is true that at SOCAP you are likely to meet a valuable stranger anywhere–whether you are in a session, sitting at one of the picnic tables in front of Festival Pavilion, or standing in line for a steamed bun at the food truck party. But with over 3000 investors, entrepreneurs, leaders, and practitioners from across the impact space coming together at The Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, the possibilities for networking at SOCAP can seem overwhelming. Take a look at this piece detailing Who Comes to SOCAP to get a big picture look at who you might meet. Having at least a few meetings arranged before the conference can help take some of the pressure off of those serendipitous conversations.
Another big reason to start reaching out to other attendees now is that a significant number of conference attendees schedule most (or all) of their official SOCAP meetings  with people they have already chatted with online or by phone, long before the first day kicks off.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of recommendations for how to set up and optimize your Pathable profile so you can start meeting people online now. Taking this step may help you have more productive in person meetings at the conference.

Respond to Your Invitation

When you register for SOCAP19, you should receive an email invitation to set up your SOCAP19 Pathable profile. If you have registered, but never got the invitation, please check your spam folder. If you cannot find it send an email to [email protected] to request that a new invitation to join the Pathable community be sent to you.

Personalize Your SOCAP19 Pathable Profile

If you’ve been to the conference before and have already created a Pathable profile, you’ll be able to update that existing profile instead of starting from scratch. If that is the case, review and update your profile with all of your latest information. Whether this is your first time at SOCAP, or your 11th, here are a few of the ways you can optimize your SOCAP19 Pathable profile for networking:
Upload a recent photo of yourself. 
A profile with a photo is much more likely to engage the interest of attendees that are researching who to network with before or during the conference. Plus, a photo will help the people you are meeting recognize you at the appointed place and time.
Prepare a short bio that is tailored for SOCAP. 
Consider adding details that illustrate the role you play in the social capital markets, your areas of expertise, your purpose for being at the conference, and your overarching vision for change.
Tag your Profile 
You can add tags to your profile that show your networking interests, relevant Sustainable Development Goals, and the geographic locations that your work focuses on.
Add Links
Invite people to learn more about you and any organization you are affiliated with by linking to your website and social media platforms to grow your network on LinkedIn, Twitter, or other platforms.
Entrepreneurs and Investors–Identify Yourself
If you are actively raising or deploying impact capital, tag your profile as “Entrepreneur” or “Investor.” You can offer additional details that signal what you are looking for or who you are most interested in connecting with in your bio.

Review Other Attendee Profiles

Once your own profile is updated, go to the “Attendees” tab in Pathable to start researching other registered conference attendees to find the people you would most like to meet.
You can filter attendees by their tagged networking interests, geographic focus areas, titles, ribbons, organizations, and relevant SDGs. If you think you have found someone you would like to meet, take a closer look at their website and social media platforms to learn more about them and their work.
If you identify a person whose interests align with your own, you can initiate contact with them by sending a private message to them directly through the Pathable platform.

Start or Join Public Conversations via Discussions

You can start public conversations using the Discussions tab in Pathable.

If you have a question or a topic you would like to start discussing with other registered SOCAP19 attendees, then start a public conversation. Make sure your title and description succinctly spells out what your offer, question, or request is. These discussion boards are very active in the weeks leading up to the event.

Start Using #SOCAP19

You don’t have to wait until October to start using the hashtag #SOCAP19. The global SOCAP community is much larger than the few thousand who come together for the flagship event in San Francisco. The online conversation continues throughout the year on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
This is one way that you can start a conversation on one of SOCAP19’s core themes that will reach registered attendees as well as members of the SOCAP community across the globe. If you are leading a panel conversation at SOCAP19, you can use the hashtag in posts about your session to raise awareness of your topic.

Closer to SOCAP19

The SOCAP19 schedule will be made available in Pathable in the weeks leading up to the event. Once the schedule is released you can begin researching sessions that align closely with your interests and areas of expertise.
We will send updates about the SOCAP19 schedule and confirmed speakers through our email newsletter. To receive those conference updates as well as tips on optimizing your SOCAP19 experience, and the latest news about the impact space and the SOCAP community, sign up for the SOCAP email newsletter.

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