Are you looking for ways to grow your career and land the dream job that you’ve always wanted? Do you want to find new ways of enhancing your sales and giving your career a boost? The secret lies in event networking.
It allows you to meet and greet people in many different industries and walks of life. They break through typical social habits, giving you access to opportunities you might have otherwise had. All of that starts with doing well at networking events.
See below for several tips that you can use to navigate through business networking events and come out the other side on top.
1. Identify Clear Objectives
Many times, people go to networking events without goals in mind. These are the people that you see wandering around the event, sitting by themselves, and helping themselves to a second or third helping of the buffet. Perhaps you are that person of late.
Have you ever found yourself wondering how people thrive in business networking? You may have seen people that work their magic as soon as they step in the door. What’s their secret? They established goals before the event started.
The goals can be as specific or general as you wish. For example, even a simple goal like building as many connections as possible can help you find the courage to speak with as many people as possible.
If you have a hard time going up and talking to strangers, then create tiny challenges for yourself. For example, you can tell yourself “I’m not leaving the event until I speak to people in 7 different industries”.
Not only will this give you the urgency to talk to more people, but it will also help you keep an open ear and have better conversations. To meet your goal, you have to learn more about what each person does for a living.
2. Prepare Your Banter Beforehand
If you speak with enough great business networkers, you’ll notice one thing that they all have in common: they have a go-to saying. Something sure to break the ice with a laugh or—at the very least—a smile.
Those things don’t come naturally. They’ve learned them over time. The most encouraging part about that should be knowing that you can do the same!
Having a few icebreakers prepared before the event can help you flourish while you’re at the networking event trying to create meaningful conversation. As soon as you have the first laugh, you’re in.
If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at these conversation starters. For those of you that are attending one of your first networking events, it never hurts to rehearse in the mirror beforehand.
Remember, the people at the networking event are just as nervous as you are. If you take the time to think through some icebreakers before the event, you’ll give yourself more confidence going into it.
From there, the goal should just be to kick things off by talking to one person. Create a connection with them. Have a meaningful conversation with them. Once you accomplish that, you’ll have the confidence to do it all over again with someone else.
3. Use Social Media
First, this should be prefaced by saying that, to attach your career to social media, your personal accounts should be free of any unprofessional content such as inappropriate photos, tweets, comments, posts, etc.
Once that’s taken care of (if it was even necessary), your social media can be a great way to build a better connection after networking events.
Great business relationships aren’t built in one networking event. They’re grown over time. If you nurture them well enough, they can lead to something big down the line.
Don’t just hand people your business card. If you had a great conversation with them, then find them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to start to build a closer bond.
4. Dress Professional, Yet Comfortable
Yes, you want to dress to impress for a business networking event. However, if that dress or suit makes you feel uncomfortable, it will actually damage the success you have at the event.
It’s important to find a balance between something that looks good and feels good. If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will show through in your demeanor. You’ll have more confidence when talking to people.
Do you have a favorite dress that you like to wear? Rock it for the networking event. Is there a certain button-up shirt that you think you look really good in? Put that bad boy on for the big event!
5. Keep Up With Relevant Content
The more content that you have stored in your head, the easier it will be to make a connection with others.
For example, you might find someone at the event that’s a huge fanatic for the local sports team. If so, then keeping up with their schedule can help you two to build a real connection and more enjoyable conversation.
Expand your horizons a bit. Listen to business podcasts, download a business news app to keep up with major occurrences, read a self-help book. It goes a long way during networking events.
Take Control of Your Destiny With Event Networking
Event networking offers tremendous opportunities for sales, business partnerships, and even future employment down the line.
That’s why it’s so important to take them seriously. However, it’s also a lot like fishing. At times, you’ll catch nothing. Other times, you’ll walk away with a boatload of new and meaningful connections.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on business networking, as well as many other helpful topics that you will enjoy.