When you attend a conference it can be very easy to walk in and blast every person you meet with information about your business. When you meet someone who you perceive as being powerful it is very tempting to try and sell your business or skills to them in a bid to improve your own prospects. However, this can leave the person thinking that you’re just self-promotional and can’t provide them with any help in return. Therefore, when speaking to someone you should think about ways you can help them – with the hope of eventually getting the help reciprocated later down the line. By giving someone advice or some your free time, you will instantly go up in their estimations and they will be sure to help you in the future.
Go for Quality Over Quantity
Some networking events can have hundreds of people attending them. Though it can be useful to try and meet as many of these people you can and hand your business card out to each one of them – this isn’t always the most effective method. Swapping contact information can be good, but if you aren’t building any real relationship, it can all be a waste of time. A better option can be to try and speak with 4 or 5 people, and actually listen to them and engage in a conversation which goes past the surface level of “Hi, what do you do?”. By building an actual relationship, it can be much better in the long-run.
Use Your Initiative
Before attending a networking event it can be very helpful if you try to think in advance about ways you can demonstrate your foresight, leadership and organisational skills. To do this you will have to try and use your initiative. A unique idea which can be quite good is to pre-book a dinner reservation for 5-10 people prior to the event. Throughout the day you can then invite people you meet whilst networking to the dinner and allow them to get to know you and their peers better. By doing something like this you will be sure to stay at the top of the person’s mind.
Showcase Your Personality
Sometimes, when attending a large conference you can feel slightly nervous or apprehensive about really being yourself. However, not letting your personality flourish can really hold you back. A great idea can be to showcase your personality with your clothing or your business cards, which can be done by wearing a bright tie or having a quirky design for your card.
By following these steps, you will be sure to have the essential networking skills which can help you when you step out to your next event.