Anyone wanting to be successful in business needs to master the art of networking. And like anything in your career, it all comes down to having a plan then executing it. Your time is precious, every interaction count.
2020 has seen networking events having to pivot due to the latest state of the pandemic. More events are moving to platforms such as zoom, skype, or hangouts to be able to network from home. But all of these tips still apply when attending an online networking event.
So, we have 6 tips to help you with your next networking event:
1) Have an objective. I.e. I want to meet 1-3 particular people, I want to catch up with specific people, I want to meet 1-3 new people. Whichever it is, just have a plan
2) Be prepared – Have a list of 5 relatively interesting topics you can raise to break the ice or stimulate a conversation. Think about topics relative to your audience – sport, art, entertainment, politics. Interesting snippets that show you’re tuned in and interesting.
3) Be positive! Reference to what you/your firm are doing well at the moment. Don’t go over the top but sound confident and excited in your work.
4) Be interested in the person you’re talking to. Sure, we all have a set amount of time you can devote to the conversation but make sure you are fully engaged for that period. When it’s time to move on, politely excuse yourself, thank them for the time and comment you’d like to continue this discussion at a later time – opening the door for a follow-up meeting.
5) Thank the host, regardless if you know them or not. They’ve put time, effort and resources into hosting the event. It says a lot about your character and will hopefully leave a lasting impression on the host.
6) Follow-up the next day, especially on any commitments you made. You can always reach out to people you didn’t get to speak with a light email such as – ‘Sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk at …”. This is a perfect opportunity to also schedule a possible catch-up meeting if needed. If you would like to learn more about ‘Meeting Etiquette: Top Tips to Help You Stand Out’ then click here.
Tune your social media profiles
Often at networking events, professionals will go away and look to social media to keep up-to-date on your latest actions, so make sure you gear your social media profiles to reflect the professional that you are! If you need some advice we have the perfect article on ‘Tune your social media into a business tool’ here.
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