Tips To Survive Your Next Networking Event
Networking events are an avenue to make connections and grow your business. Networking gives you an opportunity to get to know other attendees and keynote speakers in your industry. In this article, we will discuss networking event tips and how to network at events.
Networking Event Tips
Networking events are beneficial in advancing your career. At these events, you can potentially land a job. It’s a place to bounce ideas off of others in your industry and stay updated with industry trends. Networking events provide many opportunities.
A variety of people with different backgrounds and knowledge attend networking events. Attendees may be project managers, entrepreneurs, and industry-leading business professionals. Networking events are a perfect place for employment opportunities. It is a place to meet like-minded people. Hiring managers use networking events to recruit candidates. The connections you make can be helpful in the future of your career.
Stay on top of industry trends
Networking events will likely lead to discussions about your industry and projects you or others may be working on. It’s an opportunity to learn and gain tips for running your own business. You can also use networking events to help you find success in your field. Networking can provide opportunities to learn about updates in your industry such as technology, policies, and standards.
Networking events are a great place to inspire others and be inspired. Take the opportunity to foster and generate new ideas. Speakers at networking events can also get you thinking about how you want to grow your business. Use the ideas and information you learn at networking events to teach others and grow your business.
It’s not always easy to stay motivated at your job. Attending a networking event can be refreshing and inspire and motivate you. Hearing success stories in your industry can fuel your creativity and spark ideas. This will also motivate you to update or build your portfolio. Most likely, you’ll come away from a networking event more productive and ready to generate career success.
Networking events are a place for you to practice confidence. You’ll have to boldly introduce yourself to others. You can gather courage for future professional encounters. Networking events can ease your nerves for future job interviews. You may meet future employers at networking events. Since you’ve already met them you can confidently step into an interview. You won’t be as nervous during that second encounter.
Meet potential candidates
Employers attending networking events can recruit and meet new candidates. Because the attendees are there to network professionally, you’re bound to meet potential employees interested in your company. Networking events also provide you with the opportunity to engage with candidates in a more informal setting before deciding if you want to move forward with a formal job interview.
How to Network at Events
Networking can be a positive or uncomfortable experience. The face-to-face encounters can be intimidating to anyone. However, if you want to develop your career or begin a new business relationship, networking is essential. There are many ways to prepare and network at events.
Come prepared with a clear goal
Walking into a networking event with a clear goal will help you be prepared and focused at the event. At some events, you’re given an event registration with a list of the attendees. If you’re given a list, take the time to scan it and see who you would like to connect with during the event.
Have some conversation starters ready
Conversations don’t have to be awkward. Having some conversation starters all ready to go will help you approach others with confidence. Before attending a networking event, do your research and look up industry trends. You’ll be able to strike up a conversation with someone who shares the same thoughts on topics that interest both of you. Being informed will relieve some of the awkwardness with the first person you approach.
Introduce yourself to someone more experienced
There is always someone more experienced and knowledgeable than you. It can be nerve-racking to approach someone more experienced. You may walk into a networking event confident and excited to talk to someone but when the time comes, you freeze up. To avoid this, have a purpose and don’t butt into their conversations. Introduce yourself as an equal rather than a fan. Start the conversation with something thought-provoking and relatable.
Ask others about themselves
Everyone likes to talk about themselves. As part of a successful networking experience, showing genuine interest in others can say more about you than just talking. Also, if the person you’re talking to doesn’t encourage you to talk about yourself, they’re probably not the best connection. It’s a two-way street. If your conversation seems to be going south, just ask the person to elaborate about themselves. As they do so, find talking points that you can expand on.
Practice active listening
One of the biggest challenges at a networking event is learning how to actively listen to others. Many times at these events you can be so focused on sharing your ideas and thoughts that you forget to listen to others. Showing interest in another person and what they have to say, shows them that you care and value their thoughts. Active listening is a key skill for networking and will build the foundation for strong and productive relationships.
Exit the conversation gracefully
The goal at networking events isn’t to meet as many people as possible. It’s about making valuable connections with others. Whether you’re having a conversation with someone complaining about their workplace or not letting you get a word in, always exit the conversation with grace. You can simply tell the person to let you know how the project goes. This shows the person you were engaged in the conversation without leaving them offended.
Lastly, always follow up with people after a networking event. Having made professional connections, it’s key that you follow up. The first step in making a connection is exchanging business cards and contact information. It’s easy to follow up after a networking event. You could send an email or message through LinkedIn 24 hours after the event. You could also invite the person to lunch or coffee and connect further. From there, you can continue to stay in touch with the person through occasional emails or reaching out on social media.
Finally, next time you decide to attend a networking event, don’t go into it merely to “survive.” Instead, walk in confidently and eager to make connections. Keep in mind the benefits networking can have for you currently and in the future. Don’t waste the opportunity to connect with others.