- Tickets on sale for The Event Planner Expo 2017. Register Now! Click Here
10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Attending a Networking Event
It seems strange that meeting people can become more difficult as you get older, especially when you consider that you've had your whole life to practice. But the truth is that people get wrapped up in their own lives, they become more guarded over time, and often, adults are selective about who they choose to associate with in whatever limited time they have available. This is where networking events come in handy. Unlike corporate conferences or holiday parties, these events are specifically designed to allow professionals to meet each other. And there are several ways to ensure that you get the most out of any networking event you attend.
1. Get the guest list.
When you attend corporate events New York to Los Angeles, you'll often find that the list of attendees is provided, especially if the event has social networking pages attached to it. With this list in hand, you can figure out who you want to speak with ahead of time. This will help you tremendously when seeking out favorable connections at the event.
2. Pre-game on LinkedIn.
The New York event planner hired to helm a networking event will ensure that the atmosphere is rife with opportunities to meet and greet other attendees. But there's no reason to wait until the day of the event to start networking. If you have some idea of who will be there and you want to ensure a meeting, check out desirable parties on LinkedIn ahead of time to get a feel for what might help you spark conversation, such as their alma mater or groups they follow. You can even send a friend request so you already have an introduction in your pocket before you meet in person.
3. Prep your tool kit.
The New York event space hosting the event will almost certainly be able to provide amenities like pens and paper. But you don't necessarily want to rely on a corporate exec or a New York event planner to anticipate the every need of guests. You need to be prepared if you want to succeed. So pack up your business cards, charge your phone or tablet, download helpful apps, bring extra pens, pop a breath mint, and be prepared to network.
4. Consider body language.
It's easy enough to relax and have fun when you attend holiday parties or other insular corporate events New York that only feature colleagues you already know. But when you go to a networking event, it's work - you have an agenda. This can make you nervous, tense, and pushy as you try to accomplish your goals. If you want to make a good impression, you need to adopt a relaxed and confident appearance, and this starts with taking a deep breath, relaxing your body, and approaching people with a ready smile and a firm handshake.
5. Find a way to be memorable.
It's all too easy to fade into the background at corporate events New York to Dubai that feature hundreds or even thousands of guests. You want to stand out. You just need to make sure you do so in a good way. Telling lewd jokes or hijacking conversations will certainly garner you some attention, but you don't want to be "the girl you wish you hadn't started a conversation with at a party." Instead, think about how you can make a lasting impression without being offensive. For example, you might wear a distinctive outfit, such as a brightly colored jacket. You could also put your photo on your business cards for reference. You might even speak to the New York event planner about being a presenter at upcoming events that feature industry speakers.
6. Be bold.
If you want to make the most of the corporate events New York you attend, you cannot be a wallflower. This isn't to say you should force your way into group discussions, upsetting the flow of conversation. But you should definitely approach individuals and small groups (2-3 people) to introduce yourself early on at the event. As it gets later, circulate amongst larger groups and participate in a number of different discussions.
7. Practice your pitch.
In truth, you don't want to go in guns blazing, so to speak, when you arrive at the New York event space that is hosting. Attendees are there to shake hands and collect business cards, not necessarily to make deals. That said, you need to practice a few opening lines and have some conversational cues at the ready to draw people out. If you do this properly, you'll have the opportunity to discuss your current and future business plans without a hard sell. This will also give you the basis to discuss business at a later date.
8. Take notes.
You can't expect others to remember you any more than you remember them after only a fleeting first impression. It's not like the holiday parties where no one is expected to remember what happened the next day, much less weeks or months later. So your goal in taking notes is twofold. You not only want information that will help you remember why you’re interested in furthering certain connections, but you also need tidbits of conversation that you can share with other parties to remind them who you are when you contact them after the fact.
9. Learn to listen.
Just as a New York event planner has a list of tasks to complete in order to make sure the event goes off without a hitch, you probably have a checklist of items you want to discuss when you attend a networking event. However, you need to go with the flow of conversation and let others have their turn. One of your goals should be to put people at ease, and the best way to do this is to ask them about themselves and then listen. You can then impress them later on by recalling details of the conversation.
10. Follow up.
Once you've left the fabulous New York event space hosting the affair, you shouldn't be surprised to find that you'll forget people and they'll forget you. Following up is therefore essential to successful networking, and you can't hold off. On the day after the event, you should go through your notes and reach out to people via email or social media, helping them to remember who you are. When all is said and done, this will solidify your connection for future business purposes.