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13 Tips to Make Your Next Networking Event a Success

Networking Events are like in-person Social Media posts. You are there live, promoting yourself, your brand, and building connections face to face, much like on your favorite social media platforms. Just as your online presence can impact your digital success, making the most of networking events is crucial for expanding your professional network.

Whether you’re a seasoned networker or stepping into the world of physical networking for the first time, these 13 tips will help you navigate networking events with confidence, akin to managing your online profiles with finesse. Embrace the real-time interactions, authentic conversations, and personal touch of networking events, and watch your connections grow just like your social media following.

You know that networking is vital for your career, but you may still be hesitant to attend networking events. Maybe you’ve had your share of expensive conferences that seemed like a waste of time. Maybe you’re wondering if LinkedIn and other social media are enough on their own.

The truth is that face to face communications still carry more weight than emails and texts. Plus, events can be an efficient way to meet a large number of potential contacts in a short time.

Come home from your next networking event with something more valuable than a pile of business cards and memories of free cheese. Read these tips so you’ll know what to do before, during, and after your meeting.

Preparing for a Networking Event:

Be selective.

Choose events that are likely to give you the highest return on your investment. Figure out your goals for the event and develop screening criteria. Maybe you want to stay updated on the latest industry news or you’re trying to
land new clients.

Dress the part.

Appearances count. If you’re not sure what to wear, check the website and promotional materials to get an idea of what’s appropriate.

Carry business cards.

When you’re meeting so many potential contacts at once, exchanging business cards is much quicker than entering data into your phone. Talk with a graphic designer if you think your print materials need an upgrade.

Rehearse your lines.

Practice your elevator pitch and some relevant small talk. You need to be able to introduce yourself in a confident and interesting way. It also helps to have a few subjects on hand that you can discuss to build rapport.

Volunteer your services.

Helping out at events can be a great way to reduce your expenses and become engaged even if you tend to feel shy. Contact the organizers to find out about volunteer opportunities.

Attending a Networking Event:

Focus on giving. Effective networking is based on being generous.

Potential contacts are more likely to welcome your interest if you’re thinking about what you can do for them.

Mix and mingle.

Resist any urge to sit on the sidelines. Move around the room so you can meet as many colleagues as possible.

Make introductions.

If you already know some of the attendees, think about who they might like to meet. Providing introductions strengthens your network and makes it likely you’ll receive similar favors. You can also introduce people you just met to help keep conversations flowing.

Refine your presentation.

Networking events are about building relationships rather than selling, so they can help you edit your elevator pitch with less at stake. You’ll also have a wide audience to work with.

Following Up After a Networking Event:

See it through.

Any event can be productive if you take strategic action with the contacts you just made. That might mean sending them an article or inviting them out for coffee.

Act quickly.

Reach out as soon as possible so your last conversation will be fresh in their mind. You’ll make a positive impression and their interest may still be high.

Strengthen your online presence.

Social media like LinkedIn works well in combination with face to face communications. Invite the contacts you made to connect with you online.

Evaluate your efforts.

Developing your networking skills is an ongoing project. After each event, reflect on what went well and what you want to do differently next time.

Going to network events may require a substantial amount of time and money, but the opportunities are worth it. Connecting with others can help you to increase your job satisfaction, advance your career, or grow your business.

Ready to enhance your networking skills and make the most of your next event? Reach out to us for personalized advice and guidance to boost your networking success and advance your career or business.

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  1. Interesting. Sounds like, to succeed in business, you’ve got to have a very gregarious personality, that it would help to be someone who enjoys mixing with others in parties and who knows how to give an organized presentation. I am thinking about going into business, but I’m not sure that I am ready for all that…

    1. Hi Alice,

      You’ve touched on a great point, but remember, the business world is incredibly diverse! There’s room for all types of personalities, and many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders are not naturally outgoing. What truly matters is your passion, your idea, and your willingness to learn and adapt. If you’re considering going into business, you’ve already taken the first step by thinking critically about what it might require. Keep exploring, stay curious, and you’ll find the path that’s right for you.

      Be Well,

  2. Great post, thanks for sharing these valuable tips! Networking can sometimes feel daunting, but your insights make it seem much more manageable.

    1. Hey Tamara,

      I’m happy to hear you found the post helpful! Networking really can feel like a mountain at times, but with the right tools and mindset, it becomes a series of enjoyable little hills. Keep embracing those insights, and before you know it, you’ll be networking like a pro. Happy connecting!

  3. Your post is perfect timing because I have a networking event tomorrow morning. I’ve been attending a lot of them lately and walking away with new friends and connections. A few interactions have led to other introductions to people I never would have met otherwise. And the free wine and cheese is always a nice touch. LOL!

    1. Hi Elisa,

      I’m thrilled to hear that my post came at just the right moment for you! It sounds like you’re mastering the art of networking with both grace and gusto. Keep embracing those events and making those valuable connections (and, of course, enjoying the complimentary wine and cheese—always a win in my book!). Your experiences are inspiring, and who knows who you’ll meet next? Keep up the fantastic work and continue to share your stories.

      Be Well,

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