5 Insider Tips for Attending Networking Events
You step into a room filled with people immersed in conversation. Your heart beats faster than usual, and you feel your charm and charisma fading. You try to hold your own in a sea of strangers but don’t know what to do. If you can relate, here are five tips for attending networking events like a pro.
- Research the Networking Event
In order to make the most of your time at a networking event, it is essential to do some background research. The easiest way to do this is to review the event plan and highlight the conferences, workshops, and exhibition booths you plan to attend. If possible, research attendees and speakers, as it will make it easier for you to break the ice and make an impact.
Pro-Tip: Having specific, actionable, and concise goals before attending the event will help you stay focused. Therefore, before you step into the conventional hall, ensure you have a clear vision of what you want; job leads or meeting new people in the industry.
- Bring Business Cards
Even though it’s basic, many people forget to carry their business cards while attending a networking event. Bring more business cards than you think you might need. To prevent the business cards from getting dirty or crumpling, carry them in a card case.
- Dress Professionally
One of the best ways to make a lasting impression at a networking event is to dress professionally. Make sure you pick a comfortable outfit that is immaculate and professional If you have new shoes or a great suit or dress sitting in the closet, wearing them at the conference will give you the confidence you need to navigate the event.
- Communicate Effectively
Attending a networking event is all about communicating. Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively:
- If you are meeting someone for the first time, introduce yourself while making eye contact and smiling. Give a brief but firm handshake and state your first and last name.
- If you want others to pay attention to you, have the patience to listen to them first.
- Ask good questions to show that you are interested in their business.
- When it is your turn to speak, briefly introduce yourself and state your point in 2 to 3 sentences.
- Don’t forget to take notes.
- Follow Up
Within a week of attending the networking event, send follow-up emails to all the business personnel and attendees you have met and would like to have a professional relationship with. Personalize every email and let them know that you have a great time. If sending emails seems too old school, use social media platforms to connect with the attendees.
Pro-Tip: One of the quickest ways is to send a generic LinkedIn invite.
Wrapping It Up!
You must remember your goal for attending a networking event or conference:
Meeting new people and making contacts. Read the itinerary, research the event, and prepare before entering the convention hall. Make sure that you keep your conversations short and to the point and interact with as many attendees as possible. This will help you build credibility within your sector and expand your professional network.
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