How To Make a Splash at Networking Events
Networking is one of the best things that you can do for your career. It provides an opportunity to meet new people who are experts in your field and get valuable advice and contacts.
So to ensure you get the most out of everything opportunity and make a lasting impression, here are 10 of our best tips for making a splash at any networking event...
Our Top Networking Tips
1. Be confident
When you’re on your own in a room full of strangers it can feel a bit daunting, but in networking, confidence is key. You’re there to talk to and meet people, so don’t shy away from the opportunity to put yourself out there - make some contacts. Introduce yourself to people around the room, it may feel a bit awkward, but people love confidence and you’re more likely to be remembered than someone hiding away in the corner.
2. Always carry business cards
It would be pretty pointless going to a networking event, meeting loads of great people and then not giving them a way to contact you, right? Taking business cards with you is a must, so that you not only look professional but so you can pass on your name, contact details and information about yourself.
3. Do your research
Before going to a networking event, do some research! Go online, research who is going to be there and look up some LinkedIn profiles of key people. Knowing about people before you meet them will help you look professional and organised.
4. Know what you are talking about
There is nothing more awkward than trying to promote and sell something but not having a clue what you’re talking about. If you don’t know, then how are other people going to know? Plan what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it and be prepared to answer questions.
5. Ask questions
Be prepared and take questions along with you. Not only will this be a great conversation starter, but it will also show that you are interested in what you are talking about and that you’re keen to learn more.
6. Be able to sell, be able to socialise
Whether you’re selling a product or selling yourself, you need to be good at it. Going up to a stranger and getting straight down to business may not be the best way to go. Ease into the conversation with something light to help you come across as more personable. Basic human interactions go a long way, so make eye contact with who you are talking to and remember to smile.
7. It’s about quality, not quantity
Don’t think that because you’re at a networking event that you need to meet and talk to every single person there - you don’t. You will have a lot more success in making contacts by focusing on people who are relevant to you and your business.
8. Make sure you follow up
After a day of meeting new people, you should make sure to stay in touch with them. Make contact as soon as possible after the event so they remember who you are and what you are about. It also shows them that you’re eager and value them as a contact.
9. Set yourself goals
Setting yourself goals before attending a networking event will give you chance to think about why it is your going and what you plan to achieve from the experience. It will also help keep you focussed and prevent you from standing around looking lost.
10. Dress smart
When networking you’ll be meeting a lot of new people, so first impressions are important. Dress like you mean business because you do mean business. Go for something that makes you feel good too, it will give you some much-needed confidence.