Summary: Learn to sail through networking events so that the event is beneficial and results in many important connections.
Networking events may not always be beneficial. There may be conferences and other events that you have to work at to get a helpful connection out of. Learn how to get the most out of every event by following these steps.
- Start off using social media to begin the process. With LinkedIn, you can learn about the fellow attendees, set up meetings, and make personal connections. Twitter allows you to follow updates on the conference, create Twitter lists, and then tweet about the event to start the social interactions. Facebook is an easy way to check and comment on the event’s page as well as make a list of people to connect with beforehand.
- Start setting up meetings beforehand since people can get booked up. Plan ahead and get on their calendar before everyone else does.
- Perfect your elevator pitch. Develop a sentence or two about what you do at your company. Be specific about your role at the company and how that could help them. Finish with some good questions that you already have prepared for the event.
- Go into the event knowing your networking goals. Are you there to spread awareness about a new project you are starting or are you trying to meet industry leaders that can become a mentor? Having a clear goal in mind will help streamline your plan on how to talk with people.
- Your first connection at the event is the gateway to meeting more people. With the right approach, you will be able to join into existing conversations and even start your own. Be current on industry news and trends so that you can be ready to spark up a new conversation topic.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for something, but don’t get pushy. Your reasons for attending the event can vary from looking for a job offer, recommendation, or to get a new client. Offering something in return so that you both benefit.
- After the event, follow up with the connections you made. The sooner, the better because there is a greater likelihood that they will remember you. Connect with them on LinkedIn with a thoughtful invite message. Once the connection is made, reach out to mutual contacts you have with them to further develop your network.
To learn more about making the most out of networking, read these articles:7 Steps to Working a Networking Event by Amanda Griffin