For a long time, corporate events have been seen as a key way to grow business and build professional networks. Still, it’s hard to stand out when you’re networking at these events.
You are not the only person at the event, so you are fighting for attention with other people who also want to stand out.
You can still put your best foot forward even at meetings, workshops, fundraisers, and seminars that are very busy. If you want to get ahead of the competition, try the following ideas.
These tips will help you get the most out of business events, no matter how long you’ve been working in the field or how new you are to it.
1. Mingle; don’t linger.
At meetings, you only have a short time to meet and greet people. Talk to as many people as you can to get the most out of it. What is the goal? Don’t talk to one person for more than five minutes.
Make sure you listen more than you talk and keep the chat light and flowing. What if the conversation is really interesting? Very good! Tell them you’d like to talk more and make plans to meet up later.
It’s easy to share names, numbers, and emails when you carry a business card with a QR code. It’s better to end a conversation too soon than to stay too long.
2. Do your research.
If you know the other people who are going, you can really make progress with your networking. Take a few hours to look through LinkedIn and make notes. This might give you a reason to talk to a certain person or group.
Let’s say that one of the guest speakers got some well-deserved awards not long ago. You could talk about that fact as a starting point. You could say something like, “I heard you won an award for your sales this year.” Excellent work! Could you tell me some ways to sell?”
3. Lead with compliments.
Sincere comments make it easier to talk to people you don’t know. Even though you shouldn’t be too nice to everyone you see, giving compliments at the right times can make your life easy.
You should not praise someone’s looks if you don’t want to sound too personal. You can talk about clothes and accessories, but not physical features. Ask, “Is that the newest iPhone?” or “I like your tie.” It’s important to sound real, not like a pickup artist.
There are rich people who look for and build networks, and there are poor people who look for work. —Author Robert Kiyosaki
4. Avoid hard selling.
If you’re not at a sales event where the goal is to trade leads and recommendations, don’t talk shop. Ask to meet up only at business events. It’s fine to get contacts so you can get back to them later.
After 48 hours, you should get back to everyone. You don’t want to be too nasty, though. When you push too hard, famous guests may not like it at all.
For example, if the main speaker talks about writing a book, don’t ask him to help you find a publisher or to read your rough draft. It’s rude and doesn’t make you look good.
5. Limit your alcohol consumption.
A lot of business events take place in places where you can buy booze or have open bars. Even though you might feel more at ease with other people after a few drinks, don’t do it.
People have made bad decisions after drinking booze in the past. Not having a drink, wine, or beer doesn’t mean you can’t have one.
Take small sips and don’t drink more than one drink every hour. You can also wait until after the event to loosen up at home. You don’t want to miss chances to meet new people while you drink.
6. Act as a connector.
Do you want to learn how to network? At meetings, try to get as many people to know each other as you can. Remember the name of every new person you meet.
As you meet new people, try to point them in the direction of people you’ve already met. For example, if you meet someone who is interested in a certain subject, you can point them in the direction of someone who has written about that subject.
Being the person who gets people together gives you a great reputation and even more chances to network.
7. Dress for the occasion.
Last but not least, take the time to look nice. Dress nice for any event, even if it’s online. Take care of your hair, suit up, etc. You don’t have to dress too formally, but you also don’t want to look too casual either.
Dressing well will also make you feel better about your self-esteem. You can feel better about yourself the whole time when you look your best.
Whether you’re meeting people in person or online, you want to make a good first impression. You’ll have a better chance of making links at your next networking event if you make yourself stand out. You can make sure that your next event is a win with a little time and work.