Simon Willison’s Weblog

How do I network with speakers at events?

My answer to How do I network with speakers at events? on Quora

I’ve spoken at loads of conferences, and I can tell you that speakers WANT you to approach them. They’re definitely interested in talking to you—that’s one of the main reasons they speak.

Good speakers will hang around for the rest of the conference, and head to the after-party / bar afterwards. The initial rush of people after their talk almost always subsides within 20 minutes, so you should be able to talk to them later on without needing to queue.

There are a few exceptions: VCs might not be too keen on having everyone at an event pitching their startup—but generally you should expect that most speakers would be happy to talk to you.