Recently I attended a networking event for social media marketers. Being new to the city I was very interested in meeting new people. There was only 1 problem. I didn’t know anyone else going.
Now, I know what you might be thinking…the whole point of going is to meet new people. Yes, that is true, but it’s always nice to have a wing man!
Over the last several weeks, I have been to a handful of networking events. I know they can be intimidating to attend. It can be overwhelming to see that many new people all in one place. Maybe you aren’t sure what to say or what to do.
So here are 7 tips to keep in mind to make sure the next networking event is awesome!
1. Have an Intro Question
You are going to have to start a few conversations. The best thing to do is to get that person talking about themselves, and the best way to do that is to ask them a question.
Have some questions ready so that when you make eye contact and move in for the intro you are ready!
Here are a few to consider:
What do you do? What do you do in the city? What brought you to tonight’s event?
2. Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready
In 2 lines (about 5-10 seconds) or less be ready to tell someone what you do. Make sure it is relevant to the event.
If you are at a networking event for marketers, you don’t need to talk about your love for the Hunger Games!
3. Take Initiative
You are going to an event to meet new people. This can be very intimidating.
If you plan to hide in the corner the whole night you are better off staying home.
So get ready to meet new people and take the initiative to introduce yourself. When you make eye contact with some, take a step towards them and greet them using their name (most networking events make you wear a name tag). Then ask them your intro question.
4. THEM THEM THEM
Mostly your conversation is going to last 5 – 10min. Have a genuine interested in them, don’t just talk about yourself.
If you get to know them you might learn how you can serve them better.
5. The Business Card
It’s not about playing ninja stars and flinging them at as many people as possible.
Receiving a business card will allow you to do the proper follow up. Giving them yours allows the other person to connect with you and remember you after the event.
6. Follow Up ASAP
Don’t wait for them to contact you. Take the lead and send a follow up email to everyone you connected with throughout the night.
This will show them you are truly interested in developing a relationship. There are many reasons you would want this. They could be a potential client, vendor or just a great resource to have.
7. Bring a Pen
You are going to have many conversations and collect a handful of businesses cards. Step aside after each conversation to write a few notes on the back of their card.
This will help you remember the person and the conversation you had with them.
The thing to remember when attending a networking event is that you aren’t going shopping for your own consumption. That is not how relationships work.
You are looking to meet new people and build relationships that strengthen and encourage both you and the other person.
Have you ever been to a networking event? Tell us a story in the comments that involved 1 of these 7 tips!