The thought of entering a room full of strangers, introducing yourself and building new relationships can be daunting to many of us, however networking events are an essential part of building your career, professional profile and also to win potential business!
To make for smoother sailing and your next event being a successful one, we have compiled a few necessary tips and tricks to really rock your next networking event…
1. Set Specific Goals
Make sure you go to your next event knowing exactly why you are going, what you would like to achieve and in what timeframe. Your time is precious, so make sure you use it wisely! Setting goals such as collecting “x” amount of business cards can be a helpful method to make sure you stay productive. Try to allocated a maximum amount of time you speak to each person, if you find yourself getting caught up in a conversation, schedule in a time to meet them for coffee or lunch that week to continue the chat.
2. Don’t be All Work and No Play
As important as it is to make the right connections and discuss business-related topics, make sure to get to know the person you are speaking to as well, to develop a more personal connection. Think of one or two questions you can ask each person you meet that is an interesting, personal question, for example: “Have you got any exciting holidays/trips planned for the year?” And if you remember to mention this next time you speak to them, this will make you stand out from the rest!
3. Follow Up
This is the most vital step in the entire networking process and one that we often forget to see through. You may have collected over 15 business cards and not remember exactly who was each person that you met that evening. Make sure that the first thing you do the following day is connect with those individuals on LinkedIn or other platforms and send them a personalised message, for example: “Hi X, it was great to meet you at X last night. I would love to catch up for a coffee this week, when would suit you?”.
These are just a few easy steps you can implement into your next networking event that will assure you are more productive, successful and enjoy your evening!