It’s obvious but easily forgotten. The last thing you want is to show up to an event, not knowing anyone and not get the best out of the situation… preparation is KEY!
From remembering business cards, researching key speakers and event topics, and having a nose on social media to see if you can scope out who’s attending – the more prepared you are the more you’ll get out of any networking occasion.
Setting yourself goals can also benefit your networking experience. This gives you the perfect opportunity to have a clear understanding of what you want to get out of the networking event. This also helps with follow ups post the event. Combining your pre-event research and post-event reflection, you can tie in your goals to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Learn to listen – listening is a skill that can get overlooked. From negative body language, tone of voice and even general attentiveness, you want to ensure you’re giving off the right vibes and showing genuine interest. Attend events that are of interest to you, and utilise your research so you can take advantage of being in front of the right people, and share relevant opinions to the meeting or event and current industry trends.
If you’re attending an event you’re not as passionate about, remember to keep an open mind as you never know what you’ll learn or who you’ll meet.
You may think that you’ve got to pretend to be someone you’re not when in social situations, but that’s not true. You’re most confident and comfortable when you’re yourself so go with that!
If you’re enthusiastic, utilise it and bring it into your discussions – whether its enthusiasm for the event, your work or someone else’s, show confidence in your knowledge. Remember research is very important in keeping up-to-date with what others are talking and writing about, so you’re not just talking about you.
If you’re shy, remember you’re not going to be the only one. Have confidence that you’ve prepared and show that you’re interested – perhaps attend with a colleague and tag team the networking responsibility?
Find out more about the types of networking events you can host at The Mermaid London here
Since networking and conferences go hand-in-hand, we’ve also created a game plan that’ll help you get the most out of your next conference… read here