Being an entrepreneur and networking are almost synonymous these days. All you hear about now are networking events and how many people are in an individual’s network. It can sound so cliche. But I’ve found that it is absolutely necessary to push yourself and network to BUILD your network!
Here are some tips on how to navigate a networking event and make your attendance a success!
Know the goal of the evening and determine who you want to meet. If you can do some research on the attendees prior to the event, then go for it! It’s a great way to break the ice by mentioning some of their past accomplishments. And don’t forget your business cards! More importantly, don’t forget to collect business cards.
Talk to people!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve been to so many networking events where people just stay in their circle. Networking events are not parties (although you can have a ton of fun) they are networking events. You should leave knowing at least 3 – 5 people who you did not know before. Don’t be afraid to walk up to a group or a person and extend your hand to introduce yourself. That’s why everyone is there.
The next business day after a networking event you should follow up with those you met. Send them an email thanking them for their time and try to coordinate a follow up meeting if you are really interested in getting to know them and adding them to your network.
How do you navigate a networking event? What tips have you found that works?