8 Tips To Be an Effective Networker at Community Events
Subscribe to Articles
Small business entrepreneurs are always looking for the best ways to get the most out of the time they attend networking events. After you have chosen which networking events you plan to attend, you can then create a strategic partnership strategy that can help you get the most out of each event. We created a list of helpful networking tips that will bring you quality connections and help you with your overall business development.
8 Tips For Effective Networking at Community Events
Introduce Yourself to the Event Organizer
One of the best ways to learn more about a company is to speak to the event organizer. Seek them out at the event and introduce yourself. They can then introduce you to other attendees to help you break the ice.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Networking events generally run for a couple of hours maximum. Therefore, your time to meet people is limited and you should not spread yourself too thin at events. When it comes to networking, quality connections are better than a mass quantity of random people. It does not make much sense to work the room just to get as many contacts as possible. Proper relationship management happens when you focus on a few solid connections.
Join in Conversations and Be Engaged
While at the event, don’t hesitate to join in conversations whenever possible. Wait for a pause in the conversation to introduce yourself and add your input to the conversation. Most of the time, the other attendees will be delighted to bring a new person into the fold. However, when you approach new people and get a sense that they are having a serious discussion without a segway for you to enter the conversation, then you can politely excuse yourself and move on.
Hand Out Business Cards with Care
The purpose of these networking events is to find quality connections, so be discerning to whom you hand your business cards. Do not just hand them out to random people at events with no introduction or explanation.
Evaluate Your New Contacts after the Event
After your networking event, ask yourself two questions: Can this contact help me and can I help them? One mistake many people make when they try to evaluate relevant connections is they forget the rule of reciprocity. You should bring something to the table such as some industry advice or another connection that you could introduce them to. This is a great way to add value to connections. Eventually, you will get a wonderful reputation in your network as being a helpful person.
Build Relationships with Your Valuable Contacts
To develop your relationship strategy, you must learn everything you can about them. Discover all about their product/service, business, and even their personal interests. Then you educate them about you and your company. Keep in touch as often as you can, and get together whenever possible.
Nurture Your New Contacts
Just like a plant that needs water, your new contacts need nurturing, as well, for them to blossom into profitable relationships. This relationship maintenance is a key component to empower your success. Make sure that you touch base often with your new connections.
You can initially connect with them on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and send a short message to begin your dialogue. From this point, you can begin to cultivate this new relationship with the exchange of valuable information and industry advice.
As your contact list grows, you will also have to re-evaluate your list. People change positions all the time, so you will need to update all your information on a semi-regular basis.