Monday, October 22, 2018

Top Tips for Getting The Most Out Of Your Networking Events




Today as I left for work I noticed a remarkable turn in the weather. As I wound my scarf around my neck to make it as airtight as possible, my mind wandered to the influx of festive parties and dinner invitations that are to come.Although the primary function of these events is to enjoy the festivities of the season, and perhaps celebrate all the hard work that has gone into the year, they also serve as great networking opportunities. Networking can be a daunting affair and up until I attended the Black British Bloggers mixer earlier this year, I had sworn off them entirely. 


I cannot count the number of times I have attended a networking event, full of hope and with a deck of business cards in my pocket, only to leave with the feeling of being short-changed, so I'd like to save you that same disappointment by sharing with you my top tips for getting the most out of your networking events.

 1. Research your event! 
So you have been invited to a Christmas charity ball or end of year party. Make sure you have a good idea of what the event entails: the organiser, speakers, attendees, and venue should all be factors you consider when considering if an event is right for you.  For example, some people may prefer smaller intimate events whilst others like bigger ones. 

2. Have a goal in mind. 
Once you've decided you're attending an event,  you should have an idea of what you hope to achieve. It could be expanding your network, swapping details with a particular person,  or just increasing your confidence with total strangers!

3. Go prepared.
Make sure you go with everything you need to make those connections. So practice your elevator pitch, take a few business cards, select an appropriate outfit, and carry something to make notes on. Help yourself out a little!


4. Get comfortable, get confident. 
Whilst at your event, step out of your bubble and speak to people. That's why you are there. And that's why I'm not an advocate for taking too many business cards because there is a tendency to just absent-mindedly dish them out without making any true connections. Remember most people will be just as nervous as you are, and just as eager to know about you as you are to know about them. 


5. Follow up!
This is where most people fail. Ensure you send emails and or texts to the people you've met, thanking them for their conversation. If it's someone you're particularly interested in knowing more, suggest another meeting. Remember making a few long-lasting connections are more effective than giving away a bunch of business cards to faceless strangers.

6. Reflect
Well done. You did it. You've put in the hard work, and you have successfully networked your way through the festive period! This is a good time to evaluate how much you gained from it overall, and what you could do better to serve yourself next time.

There you have it! Six ways to make the most out of your networking events. Hopefully, these tips would have helped you to finesse your communications skills. If you have any more tips please share below.


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4 comments

  1. These are some great tips sis. I will be sure to be prepared next time. Thank you for sharing.

    http://missymayification.co.uk

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  2. Having a goal is such great advice! So often, we'll blaze in without any plan/goals in mind and come away feeling as though perhaps we didn't get as much out of an event as we'd have liked. Thanks Madeline!

    aglassofice.com x

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    Replies
    1. I have done that too many times! At least we all know better now!

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