7 Things To Keep In Mind About Networking Events
By: Kayla Stevens 02/09/2015
Preparing for a networking event can be tricky and stressful. It’s understandable, too - it’s an important task with quite a few possible pitfalls. However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge. As with virtually anything, proper preparation is absolutely necessary to make a positive and strong impression during a networking event. What should you keep in mind to ensure the best results? Let’s check it out:
7. Be Smart With Your Card - This one is a no-brainer, of course, but there are a few rules to keep in mind when distributing your business card. Don’t simply give your card to everyone in your immediate vicinity. No connection is established and no relationship has been built. Instead, take the time to speak with others, listen to what they have to say, and give them a card once a relationship has been created. You’ll give away fewer cards, but the chances of someone contacting you will drastically increase.
6. Breath Mint/Water - It’s not a particularly pleasant thought, but it’s unfortunately true - when speaking with a lot of people, the mouth dries out and breath can become rather foul. Pop a mint every now and then and stay hydrated. Sabrina Baker of SHRM summarizes the issue perfectly. “You may have the best elevator speech around, but if the person is doing everything they can to get away from your breathing patter, they aren’t listening.”
5. Pen and Paper - Sure, in today’s world, it may seem a bit dated, but don’t hesitate to have a pen and paper at hand. While your phone is excellent for centralizing dates and numbers, it’s all too common for people to jot down some notes, especially during a presentation. The sheer convenience of the written word at a networking event can not be understated.
4. Resume - Apart from establishing relationships between employees of different companies, networking events are great for unemployed workers seeking connections. Some people are embarrassed by unemployment, a critical mistake, according to Fortune. Acknowledge the situation and act accordingly; don’t be afraid to discuss the issue with others as it arises. After all, they’re there to help, as well as connect.
3. Phone - In this day and age, it goes without saying, but should the opportunity arise, you will most definitely want to have your phone at the ready. If a conversation goes particularly well and further plans have already been made, noting the date in a centralized calendar or planner in your phone will prove immensely helpful. Suddenly remember that you have to send an important email? Your phone is right there. At this point, there’s really no excuse not to be ready to add a contact to your phone.
2. Plan Ahead - Even if it’s something as simple as practicing icebreakers in front of the mirror, ensure that you know exactly how to handle whatever situation that might come your way. Have a goal in mind, too. Know what you want to achieve and prepare accordingly. An aimless wanderer at a networking event is all but guaranteed to find little to no success.
1. Be Confident - Confidence is absolutely essential at a networking event. Of course, be sure not to come across as too egotistical or arrogant; you don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons. Sincerely listening to whoever you’re speaking with will help avoid this issue. Common thought leads to the belief that speaking is the best way to connect, but actively paying attention to another person could just as easily lead to a great partnership. When it’s your turn to speak up, do so with confidence and pride in yourself, as well as your work. The impression you’ll make will be excellent and noteworthy.