The word “Networking” has a lot of meanings. It could mean something about technology. It could refer to how you connect to the internet.
And, it can also refer to a gathering of people to increase connections. In this topic, I am going to talk about the latter and what you need to do before, during, and after such a social event. Let’s get started!
1. Why Do You Want to Go?
Before you go to a social gathering like a networking event management, you have to ask yourself the question, “why do I want to go?” Is it just to meet new friends? Is it to make new connections? Or is it to help you get job leads?
You have to go to such an event with some goals in mind. Whatever it is- whether you’re meeting new people and making friends or if it is something of a corporate matter- you have to go there with something to accomplish to make it more meaningful.
2. Have Your Business Card Ready
A networking event is made for the purpose of meeting new people and making connections. Make sure to bring a lot of business cards with you so that you can freely distribute them once you arrive.
In your business card, put your full name, your profession (as well as your specialty), and contact information. Use fonts and colors that are easy to read.
3. Introduce Yourself Nicely
When you’ve finally arrived and the event has started, promptly introduce yourself. Meet everyone and give them a brief but firm handshake. Make sure to make the necessary eye contact so that you make your introduction a little bit more sincere.
4. Show Concern and Interest
People in a networking event can sense if you’re sincere or not. Therefore, after making your introduction, start talking to a bunch of people or even engage in one-on-one conversations.
Do not do this with the mindset of just increasing your connections. Do this because you genuinely show care and interest for the person. Ask questions like “how is it like working for your company?” or “what’s your primary role and how do you do it best?”
Ask queries that would elicit a long string of responses so that you could learn a thing or two about them.
5. Be Straightforward
You have to learn how to read people’s body language. If you introduce yourself and start talking more about you, look at how they react.
If you sense that they’re getting bored, cut your sentences short so that you can go on with other affairs.Make things brief on your end and only expound if they show interest.
6. Don’t Forget to Follow Up
So you now know what to do before and during the event, what do you do after? Well, a few days after the event, you should start following up on the people that you want to interact and form connections with.
Make sure to create a personalized email by stating their name and a small part of what they’ve said. Suppose that you’ve met Cindy and Alana. Cindy is a graphic designer and Alana is a photographer. They are both very good people and they fit your niche as you are a designer as well.
By sending them emails or messages that are targeted towards an individual (by adding some information you got from them during the event, they will most likely want to hang out with you more since you remembered some things about them.
A networking event can really help you make more connections. Be sure that you come prepared, show genuine interest by making eye contact and listening to what the guests have to say, and follow up with the ones that you really like after the gathering.