The year 2017 has been an explosion of industry events, conferences, leadership seminars and the likes. To some, it’s a whole lot of noise and much ado but to overachievers and professionals looking to get ahead, these events are very essential.
These simple networking tips always come in handy when networking at conferences, meet ups, and meetings:
Practice Your Introduction
Don’t memorize and spew some long winded paragraph which includes what you do. In fact, don’t dare utter what you do, instead share your purpose.
Instead of saying I’m a Communications and Marketing Executive and IT/Digital project manager say, “I help multinational companies and individuals run their businesses and build their brand. I focus on three key areas. Operations, Digital, and Marketing support.”
Get Business Cards
Getting business cards printed are a good investment and they are quite affordable compared to what you stand to lose if you just scribble your details on a piece of paper or if you don’t get much time to chat. A good business card will have your name, email address, company name/website/blog (if you have one), phone number and your job description. Remember that the lettering should be legible and dirty or stained cards are a huge turn-off. There’s no reason you can’t include your social media handles as well.
Would you go for a job interview without any tangible knowledge of the position you are interviewing for? Hopefully not. Same thing with conferences and seminars where you plan to network. You should read up on the themes to be discussed at the event, the speakers lined up and the sponsors of the event.
Don’t Blend In, Stand Out
Many of us mistake standing in corners and clutching their tablets for networking at events. Smile, look approachable and show that you are interested in meeting new people. Your posture and body language can keep people away so avoid standing in a corner looking out of the window like that room is the last place you want to be. It is o.k to take the lead, work the room with a smile and make the first move.
Everyone has some knowledge to impart but you might miss it if you don’t listen. You might be tempted to go on and on about a new project or how you agree or don’t disagree with one of the speakers. Do not make it just about you and your career. Ask questions that show your interest in the other person.
It is no use meeting new people only to ignore them completely until you see them again. You can follow up via email or on the phone and this is why it is important to exchange business cards. Please do not just drop by their offices without calling first as it is very rude and can be a turn-off.
Following up should be done politely and it is always a good idea to add them to your Linkedin network since this also links you to their connections and can definitely boost your career.
HUEISH Journal: a digital platform empowering every shade of professional and entrepreneur through personal stories and the diaries of others.