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Get the most out of network events

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Attending events and reaching out to contacts is crucial if you are aiming to expand your business, whether that is you as an individual or a company you represent. Whether you regularly attend networking events or you’re about to experience one for the first time, it is important you have some sort of strategy. This will help you stay focused, calm and most importantly, get the most out of network events. Here are three simple rules to remember.

1. Prepare

If possible, ask the host of the event for a guest-list. You can then research and pick individuals that you plan to approach. These people should be relevant to your cause, but you should also consider what you could bring to theirs. This rule applies to those who are willing to go that extra mile, however if you’re uncomfortable with this you can always skip it.

Remember that you are presenting yourself to people you want and/or need to impress. Make sure your attire is professional and smart, as this will encourage people to take you more seriously and perhaps to even approach you.

2. Be memorable

Certain influential individuals will be approached dozens of times throughout an event, so it’s crucial you try your best to make yourself memorable. A good way to be interesting and set your self apart from the others is to ask the right questions, such as:

  • “What do you enjoy most about what you do?”
  • “How did you get into [insert their job title here]?
  • “How can I help?”

networkingThis takes the pressure off of you to carry the conversation, allows you to gather more information about the person and shows them that you are interested in them as a person rather than just a business contact. Focus on the future relationship that you are trying to build with them on a personal level, not solely a business level.

If you think the relationship has reached a suitable stage to do so, leave by ensuring you’ll see them again. Your second meeting will be just as important as the first encounter. Also, be sure to ask for their business card. Write notes on the back of their cards so you remember crucial information for when/if you meet again. Write down the date, the event and any important information about the individual. This will help you remember your first conversation with them in the future.

3. Quality over quantity

Although you may be inclined to get as many contacts as humanly possible, it will be more beneficial in the long run to limit the amount of contacts you speak with to five, or ten depending on how many people are at the event. This will allow you to develop more personal relationships with them, instead of simply whipping your business card out to anyone who makes eye contact. You can approach relevant people and spend a good 5 – 10 minutes with them developing a rapport.

 

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About Siobhan Harmer

About Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan Harmer is an English Freelance writer who drinks far too much coffee!!

Website: Siobhan Harmer

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