How to Network when attending an EventBy Angela Marshall, 20th Nov 2014
Many people feel uncomfortable walking into a room full of strangers and some will avoid it. However, it is something we all must do to broaden our business and personal relationships. Whenever you are invited to an event approach it as a good time to network and get to know new people.
- Introduce yourself to people – give a firm handshake, a smile and a greeting or remark reassures the other person.
- Importance of Giving and Receiving – the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. In return you will receive advice, knowledge, contacts or information. “Pursue the relationship not the sale”
- What to Wear – Dress in a style that represents your personality, your company’s brand and your personal brand.
- Think positively – Know what you want to achieve from the event. Commit the time and make things happen!
- Walk in with confidence – Good posture, smile, eye contact, firm handshake and don’t stand so close to a person that you invade their personal space.
- Speak to people you know – Talk to them for a few moments to get a feel of the environment; ask for introductions.
- Be conscious of others in the room and their awareness.
- Working the Room – Occasionally you can get a prior list of attendees, identify any people you particularly want to meet, but keep in mind you never know whom other people may know.
- Introducing Yourself to People – Speak to someone who is on their own and then suggest you join others. Join a group of three or introduce people you know to people you have just met.
- Ideas of topics to talk about – Think of conversation starters that are simple and interesting and preferably open questions (current affairs, recent news, developments). Be enthusiastic and sound interesting.
- Description of what you do – Always be prepared with a short sentence to describe what you do. Keep it brief and to the point and try to include the benefits to your clients. Show what you can deliver, be confident, passionate about your work and add some humour.
- How to remember names – Be the first to introduce yourself and ask the person for their name. Repeat their name back to them; if you are a visual person, imagine their name written down or look at their business card.
- Where to place a name badge – Always wear your name badge on your upper right shoulder. Why? When extending your right hand for a handshake the person will automatically be drawn to your right hand side. Position the badge high enough on your right side to give other people the best view of your badge as well as your face. Plus the badge will always lie flat and more secure when it is on the upper part of your chest as this is the flattest.
- Your Network Style – You are in control of how and where you network. Use your personality style to suit your approach. Learn what makes you tick and works best for you, but do go out of your comfort zone so that you grow and develop and become a great networker.