Networking Tips for Those Who Struggle - Calgary Event Planner

Networking Tips for Those Who Struggle

I have a confession; I am one of those people who loves to plan networking events but doesn’t love participating myself. After a visit to the Go West Conference in Edmonton for event professionals last month, I thought this week we could discuss how to make it a teeny bit easier at the next corporate event you attend. This will involve a combination of social skills, genuine interest, and strategic planning. Just like The Skills That Every Planner Needs to Succeed – Here are some tips to help you make the most of your networking experience:

Set clear goals:

Define your objectives for the event. Whether it’s making a certain number of new connections, finding potential clients, or learning about industry trends, having clear goals will give your networking purpose.

Research beforehand:

Learn about the event, its attendees, and speakers in advance. This will help you identify key people you want to connect with and topics of conversation.

Prepare an elevator pitch:

Craft a concise and engaging introduction that highlights who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique. This will make it easier for others to understand your background and interests.

Initiate conversations:

Don’t wait for others to approach you. Take the initiative to introduce yourself and start conversations. Approach small groups rather than larger ones to make interactions more personal.

Active listening / finding common ground:

Pay close attention to what others are saying. Show genuine interest by asking thoughtful questions and actively engaging in the conversation. This helps build stronger connections.

Look for shared interests or experiences that can serve as a basis for a more meaningful conversation. This makes networking more enjoyable for both parties. At the networking events I just attended, I really appreciated my colleagues who made this so very easy!

Use open body language:

Approachability is key. Maintain open body language, make eye contact, and offer a firm handshake. Positive non-verbal cues can make others feel more comfortable engaging with you.

Follow up:

After the event, follow up with the people you’ve met. Send personalized emails expressing your pleasure in meeting them, referencing specific points from your conversation, and suggesting ways to stay in touch.

By incorporating even a few of these tips, you may find networking at business events more enjoyable and productive. Remember, the key is to be genuine, curious, and open to building meaningful connections.

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