There’s no reason to be nervous about a big networking event. With a little preparation, you’ll not only walk the room confidently, but make the best connections. When we teach the business skills workshop on networking at Instep Management Group, here is how we tell people to prepare:
- Research Who Is Attending: If possible, find out who will be attending the event beforehand. Conferences often share lists of attendees and private events have lists of invitees. You can then research the participants and plan on who you want to meet.
- Bring a Friend: Sometimes, having someone right next to you to talk to and who will work with you to find people and enter conversations makes the whole event less stressful. Networking in pairs can greatly increase your level of comfort, but be sure not to spend the whole time talking just to that person.
- Follow Up Right Away: Be prepared to follow up with someone right after you leave the event. We like to find them on social media and invite them to follow Instep Management Group on their favorite platform.
Meeting someone at a networking event and following up are only the first steps to building a relationship with them. You need to use email, social media, and other contacts to continue the conversation.
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