When you first go networking it can be really scary, you don’t know who will be, you’re not sure about the layout of the event, you don’t know what questions you will be asked and even if anyone will want to speak to you or if you’ll just be ignored. This is why we have put these top tips together for networking newbies, we were all networking newbies once.
If you found the event on Meet Up you can engage with people on that page before you go along, a brief note saying something like “not been along to this event, but I’m really looking forward to it as it looks like a really good group” will often encourage others to respond and start chatting to you and then you can continue that conversation both online and at the event itself.
Most events will have a hashtag, or the group will have a hashtag. For example, we run Creative Networking events and our hashtag is #CreativeNetworking – we use this hashtag to share upcoming networking events in Peterborough and attendees use it before and after the event too to begin and continue the networking.
If your photo is on Twitter or Meet Up you’ll then be recognised when you arrive at the event and you’ll be able to recognise others too. It will feel like you already know them.
Check the time of the networking event to ensure that you arrive on time, if you get there really early then sit in the car for a bit because you don’t want to get there before the organiser. However, it’s really important you’re not late – especially if food is being served or there is a guest speaker.
Always remember your business cards, you will be asked for one as people get to know you so it’s good to have them easily to hand. This is easy for men with trouser or suit pockets and can be trickier for ladies in dresses with no pockets so bear in mind you’ll need to get them easily.
Have you got any top tips for networking newies that you would like to share?