Dealing with logistics and meeting a new horde of people can make out-of-town conferences stressful, but using social tools can help you make them as productive (and fun) as possible.
• With LinkedIn’s advanced search, find new or established connections in your destination city. If you want to meet with any of them while you’re in town, reach out ahead of time.
• To minimize dress-code anxieties and packing hassles, use a Google image search to find photos of past years’ events and check out what people wore.
• Use OpenTable to book 8-to-12-person tables at restaurants near the conference venue for each evening of the conference, and invite people to join you for dinner. (Saying you’re “convening a gang” avoids the implication that you’re paying for the whole table.) Enlist a few co-conspirators to invite two or three people each.
Adapted from Work Smarter with LinkedIn, by Alexandra Samuel.