If you have a business or a professional objective you are attempting to reach, more than likely you will wind up at a networking event sooner or later. Networking events are a vital instrument to success, as they can help you accomplish your objectives and extend out your circle. Networking events are an excellent tool to utilize, as they help you assemble the connections you need, and can open doors.
To make the connections you need, you need to put yourself out there and don’t let fear or anxiety take control. Get ahead professionally by taking advantage of your next networking opportunity. If you don’t feel prepared, you will after you read our helpful networking event tips.
Do Your Homework
Read into the networking event, and learn as much as you can about it. It is best to go into a new place feeling prepared, and for some, getting as much information as possible is needed. The information may or may not be available online, but if it is, check it out. You might be able to find out valuable information such as dress code, parking information, and you may even learn who will be there.
Make sure your resume is up to date, and you have plenty of resumes and business cards on hand. Double and triple check for any errors, and get other people’s opinion as well. Having another set of eyes and perspective never hurts. Also, know what you what to get out of the event, and have your introduction or ‘pitch’ thought of ahead of time. By doing this, you can ensure that you don’t stop or falter when you are put on the spot.
Be Pleasant and Approachable
It is important that you look presentable, and adhere to the event’s dress code (if there is one). Remember, you want to dress to impress so pay special attention to your appearance, just don’t go overboard. You don’t want to choke anyone up with your perfume or cologne! You want to make a good appearance, so don’t wear anything too revealing, wear too much makeup, or drenched in body spray. Also, make sure you have a smile on your face! You want to look approachable, so try your best to put your best foot forward.
Update Your Web Presence
If you are on any social media sites, such as LinkedIn, make sure your profile is current and up to date. Also, if you plan on showing off your website, portfolio, or social media page make sure everything is in tip-top shape. You want to have everything up to date, and be free of typos. Since you usually have time to prepare for a networking event, make sure you use this time wisely by getting yourself fully prepared.
Take Notes and Follow Up
During the event, take notes when you speak to others. You can make notes on their business card, or in a small notepad (which you should have with you!), or take notes on your cell phone. Don’t rely on mental notes, after a few hours and many faces, your memory can become quite distorted, and you may not be able to recall some of the conversations you had effectively. Plus, this allows you get more personal when you send out your follow up email a few days after the event.