6 Networking Event Tips to Navigate It With Benefit

Want to find networking event tips to feel more confident before going there for the first time in your life? You are in the right place - read on to find out what to do before, during, and after!

If you just googled, “What to do at a networking event?”, you’re not alone. Whether it takes place in a coworking space or at a luxurious hotel, attending your first networking event can cause all types of emotions. You can be nervous about how to approach people, concerned your outfit may be too formal or too casual and overall inappropriate to networking event dress code, hopeful that you will make those desired business connections. Whether it’s your first rodeo, or you just want to freshen up your skills, we are here to provide you with a list of networking event tips that will leave people remembering your name. 

How to Benefit Through Attending Marketing Networking Events

Ready to start? Let’s dive in!

1. Do your research

Don’t just drive up to a building on your way home from work with a sign that says, “Networking Event”. You need to make sure you are going to an event that suits your business and goals. If you’re a professional engineer, look up engineering networking events near you. The first thing you should be asking is how to prepare for your first networking event. Research the organization and make yourself a list of talking points. Look at it as if you are going to your first interview for a job you really want. Doing your research will also help you get a gauge on what to wear to this networking event and what the atmosphere will be like.

2. Meet the host 

Depending on the size of the event, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know anyone, especially if you are new to the area. The best tip if you ever find yourself scanning the room and holding back from walking up to someone, is to introduce yourself to the organizer of the event. The person in charge usually knows many people who attend and can help pave the way towards understanding how to introduce yourself at this networking event better. 

3. Don’t be THAT business-card-person

There is always at least one person at an event that is giving everybody paper cuts slinging out business cards. There is no doubt that your business cards should be on your list labeled “What to bring to a networking event”, but please remember that they are business cards - not flyers. It is important to get to know the person and company to see if they are the right connection for you before throwing your card in their face. If someone really wants to connect back with you in the future, then they will ask for your information. Otherwise, your card is going into the trash bin when they get home. 

4. Be present 

Don’t attend a networking event if you’ve had a bad day at work and just want to curl up in bed with your nonjudgmental dog (or pet of choice).  You want to be feeling good that day so you can be present with the people you are connecting with, especially if we are talking about career networking events. Make eye contact, nod, and ask follow-up questions for more in-depth conversations.

5. Be yourself 

Business networking events can be filled with a bunch of, how can we say this lightly — exaggerators. Remember that people who think bragging the whole time is the best way to make a memorable connection? The truth is no one cares how many clients you acquired last month or how much money you made last year even at finance networking events. Give them a little insight on how you are a great salesperson by selling yourself effectively; the best way to sell yourself is to be yourself! 

6. Follow Up

There are certain tips you need to know for during the event and certain ones you need to know for after. If you meet a connection that you think can be valuable to your business, make sure to follow up with them soon after the event. Here is the best after-networking practice to reconnect people:

  • Don’t do it right away but wait a day or so
  • Find their LinkedIn account or shoot them an email about how it was nice to meet them and you look forward to working with them in the future

This will let them know that you are serious about connecting and it will help them find you when they are looking to reconnect. 

May All Your Business Networking Events Be Successful 

Now that you know all the networking best practices, you are ready to start building your network. It won’t happen overnight so make sure to keep attending events and set realistic goals for yourself. Once you start making those initial connections more will come your way. 

Last tip — don’t forget to smile, networking is fun!

By Libby Smith

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