In this competitive business world, the right professional contact can open doors for new opportunities. Networking events are a great place to connect with individuals who may help you grow or drive your sales.
Your goal is to meet new people and learn about what they do, as well as allowing them to learn about you. Here are six tips for successful event networking:
- Remain authentic: Refrain from too much self-promotion. Cultivate genuine curiosity in other people. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. If you are genuinely interested in someone else, you build a more authentic, personal connection and opportunities often present themselves.
- Choose an event wisely: You don’t want to feel out of place at a networking event. Choose events with themes that align with your interests so you can more easily connect with panelists/speakers and speak with confidence. Check websites and local business newspapers that may list relevant events.
- Do your homework: Every event, business conference, or seminar promotes the list of its speakers, attendees, sponsors, and even organizations. You can research, target, and prioritize the attendees with whom you would like to meet, and it will be easier for you to speak with other guests.
- Try to help: Networking is a powerful way to build connections if you remain authentic, ask questions, and appear eager to help. A genuine attempt to make a helpful introduction leaves a positive impression and ultimately leads to a long-term relationship.
- Connect and Follow-up: Exchanging a business card is a great way to connect! Don’t worry about the length of conversation you had with an individual. The follow-up is where connections flourish. Ask to go for a coffee or lunch meeting with your new acquaintance to take your conversation further.
- Persistence is key: The more events you attend, the more industry knowledge you attain, and the more confident you become. This elevated comfort level will ultimately result in new and exciting opportunities.