I’ve been networking for as long as I can remember – back to when I was a little girl. I love being a connector and meeting new people. The more people I meet the wider my network grows and the more I’m able to help foster new relationships for my clients and colleagues. Networking is essential for business owners and go getters, but so many people get anxious at events and taking the first step to met new people. It can be very overwhelming when you are at an event by yourself to know who to talk to and how to make new connections. However, there are things that you should be doing at networking events to ease the stress and maximize results.
So, here are 10 tips on how to get the most out of your next networking event:
Prepare. Brainstorm a list of questions you can ask people when you get to the event. If the natural conversation slows you’ll have some topics you can add into the mix to pick things back up.
Keep an eye out for the people by themselves. Everyone wants someone to talk to! And it’s easy to approach someone who is by themselves or looks new to the situation.
Take Note. Have a note on your phone where you can put the names and company names of the people you meet. That way you can keep track of everyone you met, reach out to them on email or engage them via social media.
Follow Along. Be sure to follow your new contacts on social media – you can easily keep up on their life and make your encounters at events more personal because you know what’s going on in their life!
Make Plans. Have a goal to meet a certain number of people going into it, so you’re motivated and make the most of your time.
Position Yourself. Everyone will be waiting in line for food or drinks and that’s a great time to meet other people in line! Or if people are sitting at a table to eat, sit down next to them and introduce yourself.
Bring Your Cards. It’s important to make a good impression, so always have your info on you! If they don’t have a card on them, use the Take Note tip above.
Get involved. Whether that’s jumping in the photo booth station, creating diy projects or looking at the art surrounding you, most events have something to keep guests entertained so get involved rather and don’t just stand around.
Introduce yourself. There is almost always someone next to you, turn their way and say hi. The easiest convo starter is to mention who you are and what company you are with. Then, ask them what they do and what company they work with.
Finally, Be the icebreaker. It only takes one person to start a conversation that could change the future of your business. So be that person!