How to make the most out of the Venture Out 2019 Conference!

Venture Out 2018 at MaRS Discovery District, photo by Shay Markowitz

By Shadib Bin Newaz & Christine Hsu

Conferences can be exhausting and daunting, so we want to help in any way we can. Here are our top tips on how to make the most out of Venture Out:

1. If you’re looking for a job: Consider brushing up your resume and practicing your 30-second elevator pitch. Who are you, what are you passionate about, and what skill sets have you gained over time? Also, don’t be afraid to share a fun fact that isn’t on your resume. Thinking about these questions beforehand will allow you to feel more confident when speaking to recruiters. You should ask the companies/employers questions to show genuine interest and see if there is a mutual fit. Also, have a digital version of your resume handy so that you can share your profile immediately if needed.

2. Change of mindset: Per this Harvard Business Review article, people are uncomfortable with the notion of networking. “To reduce these feelings, she suggests changing your mindset and motives. You’re not just networking because you should; you’re doing it because it’s good for your career.” Don’t be hard on yourself if an interaction didn’t go as planned. Don’t expect anything specific to come from networking interactions. The best way to network is to get to know the people you are networking with.

If you find networking as exhausting as we do, come find us! We are all open to chatting about anything other than your next job, or you can just stand beside us, eat a snack, and take the social pressure off for a bit. Find us in the Venture Out tees!

3. Be strategic in your approach: There will be a lot happening at Venture Out. Take your time to see what sessions speak to you and go to those. Use your friends to expand your experience by attending different sessions! It will really help you to get the most out of it.

If you want to take some breaks between sessions, that’s totally okay too. We have a quiet room that you can use to relax. It’s important to look out for yourself and that you are not pushing to the point that it doesn’t feel fun anymore.

4. Connect with friends/new friends and social media: Connect with friends who may be interested in coming along to this conference. Or challenge yourself to make some new connections. (We are here for you if you need a networking pal!)

Also we have found that, while LinkedIn is effective in getting across your professional profile, it doesn’t hurt to connect with people on other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. So consider keeping in touch with new friends after the conference via the multitude of social channels at your disposal. But on the topic of making new connections, we remind you of our Code of Conduct which we enforce throughout our event for the safety of all of our attendees.

5. Access to sense of safety is for you to harness and for us to strive for: At Venture Out, we are bringing people and companies together to centre LGBTQ2+ inclusion as something that is important to all of us. While we don’t have control over every single event and session, we do strive for a conference that can be as safe as we can make it. This year we have a trained Safety Ambassador in crisis intervention with an anti-oppression lens, who is working with a team of Venture Out staff to be as proactive and responsive as possible. Please connect with Christine Hsu if you require support at the conference, for example if you hear/witness a problematic behaviour or conversation. You can also converse with Christine on how to make the conference better while you’re there! She will be floating around and can be reached at: safetyambassador@ventureout.ca

As Hannah Beachler recalled during her historic Oscar win this year, “I did my best and my best is good enough.” We wish you all the very best, you deserve to have a phenomenal time, and we are excited to celebrate with you!


Visit ventureout.ca/2019-conference/ to get your tickets today!