Networking events are a necessary evil in the business world. They allow you to build strong networks and potentially could earn you big business. However, for most of us, they’re laced with an anxiety that turns our stomachs to butterflies.
But why do we dread them so much?
Most people are in the same boat; they show up alone and are expected to mingle expertly around the room. Being your most charming, hilarious and staggeringly interesting self. Easy right?
Take these helpful tips to help ease those networking jitters:
Research key attendees
Know your audience. Be prepared. If you know who will be there, you can impress with your knowledge of their company and what they do.
Ask all the questions
Show your enthusiasm and interest. Asking questions is the best way to get to know your fellow attendees. You’ll make them feel important and valued – flattery gets you everywhere.
You might not feel it, but fake it until you make it. Confidence is key in building trusted networks and making you memorable.
You'll know pretty quickly if the person you're talking to will be an asset to you and if they're not don't just move on to your next conversation. Think long term. This person might know someone, or you could be in contact with someone that's invaluable to them. Pass on their details.
Know what you want to achieve
Walk into the room knowing what you want to achieve, but don’t be over ambitious. A networking event is primarily to build relationships, not to instantly secure your next big investor or contributor.
Don’t leave that pile of business cards you’ve just secured on your desk for weeks. Send an email, pick up the phone or connect on LinkedIn with a short message.