With more than 5,000 OSH professionals at Safety 2018, it’s a great opportunity to meet and converse with like-minded safety professionals, look for potential employers and employees, and expand your knowledge of the OSH profession.

The conference and exposition offers a variety of ways to network, including before and after sessions, during conference lunches, at community-specific evening receptions, key issue collaboration sessions, the ASSE Communities Lounge and Resource Center, community service events, social learning stations, ASSE Foundation events and many more.

Attendees should set a goal to learn from colleagues and bring that know-how to their workplace. To get the most out of your experience at Safety 2018, here are five networking tips to keep in mind.

Make a plan. You should identify what you want to learn, who you want to meet and what you want to take away from the experience. Are you interested in particular topics? Are you looking to improve on a certain aspect of safety and health?

Review the conference program to identify the sessions and events that will help you answer these questions and guide you to the attendees you should speak with, and the topics you should discuss.

Listen and learn. When meeting speakers and attendees, involve everyone in the discussion so that they can all ask questions and share their knowledge.

Exchange business cards. It’s important to bring business cards so those you speak with can have your contact information. You will meet many people during the conference so it is important to leave something with them to remember you once the event concludes.

Meet with exhibitors. Beyond speaking with attendees, it’s important to network with exhibitors as well. Be sure to tour the exhibit hall for products that could benefit your business and help employees operate more safely.

Stay in touch. Networking shouldn’t end with the conference.