Say's Jack Killion

3 minutes reading time (638 words)

11 Tips for Successfully Networking at Event


Nearly everyone is a little uncomfortable going to both personal and professional events where there will be plenty of new people to meet and with whom to network. The bigger the event and the more strangers who will be there, normally the greater discomfort and stress.

But networking at events doesn't have to be a challenging experience if you follow a few simple rules such as:

  1. Pick the right event(s) to attend. I find lots of people spend too much time going to events without a compelling reason or interest in being there.
  2. Do your homework ahead of time in learning about the people who will be there. Find out who the attendees, sponsors, speakers will be and then do some homework on the ones that are of most interest to you. Linkedin is great for this. I was able to get such a list for an event I attended at The White House organized under President Obama. I found plenty of people on the list I wanted to meet for sure.
  3. Reach out ahead of time to people attending the event whom you want to make a point of meeting. Either schedule a time to meet them or let them know you will find them at the event. Give them your reasons for connecting like this.
  4. Get to events early, not just on time or fashionably late. Getting there early, when few people are there, and letting the event form around you, will reduce your stress level. It's also a great time to try to connect with speakers and sponsors who typically show up early.
  5. Come prepared with the right tools. At all personal and professional events make certain you
    -Bring and be prepared to exchange your business cards
    -Have your Linkedin profile up to date and robust so people can check you out after the event.
    -Have your 30 second profile(s) down pat – the way you introduce yourself and your organization.
  6. Expect to make important personal and professional new connections at both personal and professional events. Don't approach networking as though your life was in two silos, one personal and one professional. You can benefit from networking at both types of events in the two aspects of your life.
  7. Remember, the real purpose of in-person networking isn't just to meet people. It's to meet people with whom you can then develop important on-going relationships.
  8. Focus 90% of your conversations on them by constantly asking good, probing questions and/or making short, to the point comments. You already know everything about you. Your goal is to learn as much as possible about other people you meet. People like to talk about themselves, give them the chance. Besides, minimizing the amount of talking you have to do will reduce your stress level, particularly if you are naturally a quiet, shy, introverted type person.
  9. Whenever possible, don't hang out with your colleagues/family members/friends at events. Breakaway from them as soon as you get there and reconnect with them at the end of the event. This is particularly true at business related events.
  10. Work the room. Events are great opportunities to cost effectively meet many new people. So don't get bogged down too long with any one person, even super important and interesting ones. Focus on quickly finding synergies, agree the next steps to build the relationship, get their contact information and move on.
  11. Follow up with new people you meet, as agreed and within 24 hours. Forget being perceived as being pushy.  Fast, well thought through follows ups (email works great) just demonstrates that you value your new contact and can be dependent upon to follow up as you mutually agreed.
If you, your group or company is interested in developing and then leveraging your critical networking and relationship development skills. Check out our coaching programs.
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Tuesday, 31 March 2020
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