Friday, December 8, 2023

Network Navigation – 5 Tips for Surviving Your First Networking Event.

November 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

( Networking events grow and strengthen professional connections, but they are also incredibly beneficial for those who are looking to gain fresh ideas, build confidence, and advance their professional careers. There are plenty of ways to remain top of mind amongst connections made. Whether you lean more toward giving out branded corporate gifts or perfecting your pitch, the tips below should help you survive your first networking event.

1. Be Intentional from the First Handshake to the Last Business Card

As with anything else within the professional world, setting out with specific intentions is essential to surviving your first networking event. Ask yourself who you want to meet, and why. 

Many event registration platforms showcase attendee lists on the registration page. If this list is available, take the time to look it over. If there is a person that you would like to connect with, gain insight into their professional career by searching for their Linked In profile. This will assist you in creating a networking plan and conversation starters geared toward your connections. 

2. Practice Your Pitch (and then Practice Some More!)

Though it has become a clichéd phrase, practice truly does make perfect, especially when it comes to crafting an effective pitch. The idea of an elevator pitch is to pique interest and intrigue your listener. When preparing your pitch, remember that it is human nature to immediately ask, “what’s in it for me?” 

Leverage human instinct when preparing your pitch by addressing that question from the outset. Consider using this format if you’re in need of inspiration: I help [the prospect’s ideal customer] achieve [the solution that they offer] by [your unique technique for reaching that solution]. 

 5 Tips for Surviving Your First Networking Event

3, Listen First to Understand and then to Respond

The best way to let others know you’re interested in creating meaningful connections is by listening intently. Genuinely listen to other attendees, pay attention to their most recent professional ventures, and tune into their current business needs. This will create a natural flow of conversation and produce an opportunity to showcase your skills, insight, and any solutions you may have to offer. 

4. Take Copious Notes

Whether you jot down notes on a pad or write them on a connection’s business card, it is imperative that you do so in order to keep pertinent facts fresh in your memory. This will allow you to be more specific when conducting follow-ups after the event. 

Even if you’re certain you’ll remember important details later, the excitement of being at an in-person event can fog your memory.

5. Focus on Making Quality Connections

It is ridiculously important that you avoid “working the room” while attending any networking event. Instead of trying to meet as many people as possible, focus on creating a handful of solid connections. 

If you simply aim to shake hands, grab a business card, and move on to the next interaction, others will sense this and may be turned off by the lack of effort you’re investing into building a genuine relationship. You should also consider the fact that short and meaningless interactions will not be memorable and could, therefore, work against you in the long run. 

There you have it – a crash course in surviving your first networking event. Keep these tips in mind as you walk through the door of this and any other networking events to come. You will quickly adapt your own style and strategy for making the most out of any networking opportunity

Staff Writer; Carla Poole

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!