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4 Tips to Maximize your Next Networking Event

With the insurgence of social media sites, messaging apps, and teleconference webcasts, it’s easier to put real life networking in the back-burner. However, nothing can ever replace introducing yourself with a firm handshake, a face to face conversation, and real life body language cues in establishing deep relationships. Networking events are not just for recent graduates seeking jobs or sales professionals; anyone from entry level positions to C-level decision makers can learn a thing or two attending industry events. Meeting the right connection can open floodgates of new opportunities, be it the right hire, business partner, or personal referral. Here are 4 tips to maximize your next networking event.

  • Pick the right venue (or event) – If you wouldn’t normally go to a specific place in your spare time, there’s a high probability you won’t enjoy yourself during the event. Being comfortable will resonate in how you interact with other people. As the saying goes “first impressions always count.”
  • Avoid just collecting cards – Remember that going to a networking event is about establishing rapport to see if there are any opportunities on the horizon. Most professionals have senses to filter out who value their time from those who are playing the numbers game. While it may feel good to have the credo of going home with dozens of business cards, this often prevents people from establishing meaningful conversations.
  • Be honest – Professionals lead busy lives and those who attend networking events are devoting a portion of their valuable time to be there. Let people know what your purpose is for attending, whether you are seeking a job, looking for a prospect, or just plain enjoying some free time after work.
  • Remember to follow up – All your networking efforts will go to waste if no connections are made after the event. A good rule is to send a short email that highlights something they can remember you by. This could be a hobby or a school you both attended. Keep in touch without being overly pushy about your proposition.

Social networks may seem efficient in making connections and we often forget people are social beings. Real life networking has become some sort of a lost art that it’s easy to overlook its value. Remember that your net worth is your network so make time to meet new people offline. You never know what new opportunities lie ahead when meeting the right people! For more networking tips off and online, sign up for our newsletter. We’ll cover some of the Bay Area’s upcoming events that are industry specific to your needs.

 

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