Posted on May 31, 2019 at 10:31 PM
We’ve all been there, not sure what to do at a networking event or what to say. Truth is, the best way to give your professional life a boost is by Networking and making connections, because after all business is about connections and how you make those connections. One of the best ways to network is by attending a networking event.
Here are five ways you can optimize your next networking event.
Set a goal prior to the event: Setting goals can be a key factor of how successful an event can be for you. The Goal can start off small and slowly build into something big. Maybe your goal is to meet three people in the same industry as you, or to pass out five business cards to potential clients. Going into an event with a clear goal in mind can help you with building connections and maintaining them.
Network Before the Event: A great way to network before the event is to find out who is attending. This gives you the ability to know who you want to meet and make a list prior to the event. This will give you an advantage by coming up with conversation starters and how you can be of value to them. So how do you network before an event? Not sure how? Don't worry we've got you covered! A good way is to utilize social media, however if you don't know who will be there you can hit a dead end. Another way is to join the events community. If you are attending a Network After Work event, you have an opportunity to join a community of attendees through the Contap Social app which allows you to message one another so you can network before, during and after an event!
Share a memorable fact: Sure you give your first name and a business card but what else? Use this opportunity to share something unique about you. Are you a professional cookie baker on the side or have a hidden talent! This will help that person not only learn something about you but remember you. Because after all networking is about building relationships and the more you share the better the relationship will be.
Listen: One of the most important steps to networking and building relationships. Listen more than you talk! This will help you understand what they do and allows you to ask questions to get to know them better. Creating authentic connections shows your interest in working with them in the near future.
Follow up: An important step to networking that seems common to most but is usually neglected after the event has taken place. Following up can be easy and harmless. It can be done via email, phone or by simply sending a Linkedin Connection request. Following up should be done as soon as possible. This will help both you and your connection stay in touch and start building a relationship that can benefit your long term career goal.
Networking is a primal key to success. Be yourself and remember to have fun.
People do business with people they connect with, like and trust.