Pathfinder editor, Mal Robinson adds his top tips on how to approach a forces networking event such as the Pathfinder Armed Forces & Veterans Resettlement Expo being held in Nottingham on October 3 (register for free here).

Walking into a conference centre like the one in Nottingham can be somewhat daunting for anyone of any rank or experience!

There are some hints and advice you can take on board to help make the introduction into the event that little easier.

  1. Do Your Research

Make sure you research who will be present in terms of exhibitors on the day of the event. Think about why you are attending and what you want to gain from the event? If it is employment, look at who will be present and what skill set they are often looking for. *For the current confirmed exhibitor list please see the end of the article

If it is general welfare advice, it may be an idea to email in advance and break the ice and pick up the conversation when you arrive on the day, meaning you have more time to try and resolve your situation, rather than explaining it all from the beginning.

2. Think About The Types Of Question You Could Ask?

More often than not, we all walk away from a scenario, be it an interview or a meeting, thinking “I wish I had asked that!” or “why didn’t I mention this?”

This may still be the case as conversations spark new ideas in our mind, however reduce the risk of this feeling by writing down questions in advance. Think of what information it is you want to glean from a particular stand and base your questions around this.

3. Dress For The Occasion

It maybe second nature to some, but I would reiterate the importance of first impressions and for some on the day looking to gain employment, this could be the first meeting with a potential new employer – so make it count!

4. What To Bring Along With You

  • Bring along a folder to keep business cards or exhibitor information handed out to you
  • Bring along your CV (numerous copies)
  • Bring along any supporting evidence if you are looking to discuss pension or legal advice
  • Bring a notepad and pen – always handy to take notes of conversations before you move onto the next exhibitor
  • Bring along a confident attitude – you have done your research, dressed smartly and look the part, now is the time to act the part and also enjoy meeting new people, all looking to help you in your next step

All the best with the event and the experience and remember, Pathfinder staff are on hand to assist with any queries and help make that all important first ice breaker with an exhibitor on the day of the event in Nottingham.

The Armed Forces & Veterans Resettlement Expo is free to attend for all military service leavers, people in their resettlement phase, people thinking about leaving the military but not in their resettlement phase, veterans and families of both serving personnel and veterans.

An array of information from employment opportunities to legal advice to general welfare, plus news of a superb competition will be available on the day. Register for free here.

Confirmed Exhibitors (list subject to additions)