Using LinkedIn Groups to Make a Connection and a Meeting

Joel Ungar
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I had a brainstorm last night. From it, I've made a new connection and a meeting at a conference I'm attending next week.

The conference: I'm going to be at the 8th Annual SEC Reporting & FASB Forum for Midsized & Smaller Reporting Companies sponsored by the SEC Institute on September 20 and 21 at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas (I love that hotel). This is the fifth year in a row I'm going. Not inexpensive, but very well done and I learn a tremendous amount as I prepare for planning upcoming SEC audits.

The brainstorm: I belong to the Smaller Reporting Company Alliance Group on LinkedIn. The group is for people like me, namely CPAs auditing Smaller Reporting Companies, attorneys and others in that space. I posted the following message to the group:

Anybody attending The SEC Institute Smaller Reporting Companies Conference September 20 and 21 at The Four Seasons in Las Vegas? Would welcome the chance to meet in person.

(I had to word it somewhat awkwardly because of the 200 character limit).

About an hour ago, I got a reply from an attorney who will be attending the conference saying he'd like to meet. Then he sent a connection invitation as well (which he customized as I've recommended in other posts).

This is one of the reasons I'm on LinkedIn. I'm going to have an opportunity to meet with someone that could be a great referral source for me, and in turn someone that I could refer work to. It's true I might have met this individual at the conference, but it is attended by several hundred people. I always try to meet new people there, but I've had a hard time making a connection like this. 

If you aren't a member of a LinkedIn Group, look at some. You can get to them from any screen in LinkedIn. You can use the "Groups You May Like" option to get you started.

Not all groups are created equally. Some have a lot of activity - those are the ones you want to find. Then don't just show up - participate. I admit I haven't participated much in the Groups I belong too lately, but today's results will encourage me to be more active. Note that LinkedIn only allows you to join 50 groups (I think).

In case you have noticed, I'm pretty psyched about this. I expect a couple of more responses over the course of the week, as some people probably only get the group activity email on a weekly basis.

Has anyone else ever done something like this? How did it go? 


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