Making the Most Out Of A Networking Event
Networking is a necessary evil for those of you in the business world. You may be the type of person who loves to get out there and mingle, or you may be the person who would much rather stay at home and watch Netflix with a large pizza. No matter how you feel, the day you’ll have to get out there and work the system is inevitable. But don’t worry; networking isn’t as hard as you might think. Here are some quick tips on how you can make the most of your networking event.
Find The Right Event
Going to the right networking event is very important. If you’re a restaurant chef trying to network at an social media event, chances are your networking may not benefit. However, if you’re a chef and you go network at a wedding event, you may find individuals who are actively looking for a caterer. See how that works? Not all events are created equal. Be sure to find one that you believe will be worth the time you’ll spend.
What To Expect
Going to a networking event is like looking for yourself in the high school yearbook. You skimming over all the pages, resting quickly to look at some fun looking pictures, but overall the attitude is let’s find “me”. The difference at the networking event however is you’re looking for your business. Who are you meeting? What are their business strategies? How can you both work together for mutual benefit? You’re going to need to talk to people to answer these questions. Don’t be nervous about making your business sound like the type of company people would want to work with!
What To Bring
Always bring plenty of business cards, and pass them out like candy to little kids. You really can never have enough business cards on hand. Depending on the type of event, you may want to bring some brochures showcasing your previous work or business strategies. Feel free to touch base with the event coordinators to find out what is permissible for the event. Again, if you were the chef at a wedding event hoping to network as a wedding caterer, it may benefit you to have a table with samples of your food. It is never wrong to ask what you are allowed to bring, but at the very minimum, carry lots of business cards on you.
How To Act: Remember everyone is at the event doing the same thing you’re doing. Listen to others as they talk about their business. Share some of the highlights from your company. In addition to networking, you may also find individuals who know more about a particular something in your line of work that you’d like to know more about. Exchange business cards with these individuals; ask them out for coffee so you can talk more openly.
Whatever you do, remember to relax and enjoy the event!