Networking events can be fairly arduous and some may say quite overwhelming. The idea of walking around a crowded event space and shaking nameless hands can seem like it’ll have little benefit at times, especially if you are flying solo at the event.
However, networking events are key to forging successful business partnerships and invaluable when it comes to meeting new contacts in the world of work. Throughout the evening, you’ll be introduced to hundreds of new contacts and it’s important to leave a lasting impression on as many of them as possible. To help you to achieve this, we’ve devised a step-by-step guide on how to network like an expert and make the most of your next event! So take a look at our networking advice and you’ll be a pro in no time.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book but having up-to-date business cards on you at all times is vital! No matter how charismatic you are in person a professional business card will make sure you are contactable once the event is over. By the end of a large networking event, most people are cramming stacks of business cards into their pockets on their way out of the door so the likelihood of them reading them all the next day is slim.
Make sure yours stands out from the crowd with a bright brand colour or perhaps a profile photograph. An Edinburgh Events top trick here is to send as many follow up emails the morning after the event so that your new connection will come into the office with your email waiting for them! This is a fail-safe way to keep up the momentum with your budding business relationship.
Listen – be interested, not interesting
The second piece of networking advice is simple. No-one likes to be spoken to for half an hour. Make sure to introduce who you are and what you do clearly and then let them do the talking – allowing them to tell their story first will make them feel a lot more relaxed. Always remember to repeat the person’s name as this will reassure them that you’re interested and have been paying attention. There’s also nothing more embarrassing than when someone else joins the conversation and you can’t introduce the person you’ve just been talking to. It may seem like a no-brainer, but repeating the person’s name once you’ve been introduced is a great way to solidify it in your mind.
Whilst these new potential contacts tell you their story, make sure you’re always thinking about what you can offer them – be ready with a relatable conversation once they have finished talking and have some quick-fire questions stored up about any joint passions or interests that will keep the conversation going. Always be approachable and try not to hijack the conversation!
Ditch the pitch
There is nothing worse than a long and rehearsed sales pitch that’ll make your new business networking contact feel trapped. Keep the conversation short, concise and always allow time for them to butt in and ask questions! If they’re genuinely interested in what you are talking about you want them to be able to heighten this interest with questions and answers to keep the conversation flowing. Keep it fun, light an informal and try not to ramble.
It’s the morning after a long night of networking. You’ve followed all these top tips so far and are now swimming in new business cards and potential new contacts. You should now log all of this new information ASAP – a good tip is to create a spreadsheet with the contact name, details, company and job title as well as any potential leads or discussion points you would like to take further. Keep note of what you discussed with each person and any key leads that you can remember. Edinburgh Events top tip, why not use the notes section on your phone to keep a record as you go along on the evening, that way you’ll miss less of the follow-up points.
Reach Out / Follow up
It’s well known that networking is where the conversation with your business contact begins, not ends so once you’ve logged all these potential new clients into a snazzy new spreadsheet be sure to make the most of it! Add them on Linkedin or email them within 48 hours of the event to so you’re not forgotten and are still fresh in their minds. Always encourage personal meetings or phone calls rather than emails back and forth as this will add another level of personability to your new connections.
two people are in the middle of a networking conversation, the man is dressed in a suit and has his laptop open in front of him on a wooden table. The woman, in a white t-shirt, has a notepad and paper in front of here. They are sitting outside of a large window with a large tree creating a shadow over them.
So there you have it, five quick and easy tips for networking like a pro! Don’t forget, we’re an online platform where you can search, book and pay for offsite, meetings and event spaces of all shapes and sizes, so if you’re looking for a fantastic events Space for your next networking event be sure to contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to assist you!