If you want to grow your network and get connected with others in your field, attending networking events is a great first step! Networking events allow you to become a part of your career field community and boost your career opportunities for the future. Below are a few tips to practice at your next networking event. These tricks will give you a leg up and allow those around you to see that you are there to learn and are passionate about the same field.
Do some research and know who is going to be attending the event. Pre-meeting research is very easy to do in today’s world thanks to the Internet. Take an hour and go through LinkedIn profiles and write down facts to remember about key people as well as questions you can ask them at the event. You want to make the key attendees feel as if they are royal. This will not only make them feel special, but also allow them to see that you are on top of your game.
Know your purpose and goal that you are wanting to achieve by attending the event. Walk into the event knowing the reason you are there. Whether your goal is to find a job, get an internship, or just for fun, you want to keep that in the back of your mind throughout the event. Focus on the reason you are there throughout your meetings and use that to steer the conversation. This will help you stay on track to achieving your end goal!
Walk into the room like you belong there. Shoulders back and head up… This shows those in the room that you are where you need to be and you belong there! Networking can be awkward and that’s why you need to ensure that your body language is demonstrating positivity and confidence. You want to keep an open posture throughout the event in order to look approachable. Standing up straight with your arms down allows those around you to see that you are open for conversation.
Be a Listener
Ask your questions, and then sit back and let them tell you all about it. This a great tip not only for networking events but life as well. Make mental notes as the person is talking to you. By taking the time to truly listen, you will stand out from others. Let them feel as if you are only there to talk to them.
Reaching out to those you talked to at the event is the most important of all the steps. After you get home, sit down and write down the things you learned from each person you engaged with. Reach out to them within 24 hours via email or connect with them on LinkedIn. The message should include something you learned from your conversation with them or enjoyed discussing. Thank them for taking their time to talk to you, and reestablish your connection with them!
Those who know how to be effective networker are able to have a leg up on those competing for the same opportunities as them. Go into the event knowing why you are there and what you want to take away from it. You must stay involved with your field to grow and learn for your future endeavors. The next time you go to a networking event remember these tips and promote your name to those around you.
Story by: Katherine Rittenhouse