Make networking a priority and expand your perspective on your industry.
Walking into a room full of strangers and potential business partners can be a daunting experience for anyone, even host the companies or employees hosting the event.
As human beings, it is natural to be doubtful and anxious when faced with daunting tasks. We might ask ourselves questions like “Is this event even worth my time?” or “Do I know enough information about the event topic?” or “ Am I dressed appropriately?”
You just need to be as humanly as possible when you participate in or assist a networking event.
It’s not rocket science, even if you are in the rocket science industry, be yourself, act natural, and people will approach you. This is easier than harassing people with business cards and cheap power handshakes.
Remember, it’s all about meeting new potential clients, partners, and people. Some things to keep in mind at a networking event are:
#1 Bring business cards
There is a debate within the industry on whether to bring business cards to network events or not. However, the real issue is the approach. Some people can’t help but aggressively hand out their cards like their life depended on it. Instead, you should try to genuinely meet people, listen to what they have to say, and analyze their offering or ideas. You might even get something interesting from it. Exchange your card with them during or after positive interactions. This can reinforce the significance of your business card.
#2 Stay away from the bar
I enjoy a glass of whiskey as much as the next person. Unfortunately, attending network events is all about interacting with peers that share your view. Don’t get me wrong. Feel free to take a drink but don’t abuse it. Use it as a social catalyst if you need to break the monotony of a networking event but don’t become “that drunk person.”
My recommendation is don’t drink more than 2 beers or 2 shots of whiskey.
#3 Move around
#4 It’s your passion too
Plain and simple: speak your mind and connect with the like-minded people around you. They will listen to your opinion with an open mind.