People will tell you how important networking is. And that’s especially true when you’re CEO or a higher managerial position. Networking gives you the opportunity to meet new and exciting people, share your vision and maybe get some important insights into new project or company. Or maybe meet investors who recognized your vision or potential customers who need your solution whether it is a product or a service. That’s why networking is so important, and attending events is crucial for that reason too! If you still have some doubts about participating in a tech event in 2019, we wrote about it extensively here. So, have a look!
Networking secrets 101
Sometimes even when we acknowledge the importance of networking we still fail to do so. We agree it’s not always easy (it’s not easy most of the time) to engage in a conversation with a complete strangers, but sometimes you just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone for the more significant cause – like the profit your company could make, or new acquaintances who can help you excel professionally. So, how to effectively mingle with people at conferences and events and make the best out of it? We’ll give you some tips, just keep on reading!
- Practice makes perfect
Like the majority of things in the world, you need to learn the basics of networking to do it correctly, and what’s most important, successfully. Before the major event, you should try practicing your moves. Try to do it for at least 15 minutes a day. Stand in front of the mirror and try to casually introduce yourself and give all the relevant data about your company (or current position). First impressions are extremely important and on such events like conferences and meetups all you get is a few minutes (or even less) to present yourself. So try doing your lines correctly and pique the interest right away.
Pro tip. Practice with your colleague and adjust based on feedback. But remember once you’re at the event don’t hold each other’s skirts. Separate and talk to other people, you two already know the pitch.
- Initiate Dialogue
If you were wondering what the best way to start a conversation is, we got you covered! A simple “Hi, how are you? What are you working on?” followed by an intense eye contact will do the business. And now when you broke the ice is the perfect time to repeat what you’ve practiced before you came to the event.
Pro tip. Don’t be all me, myself and I. Remember to listen to what your new connection has to say first and then tell what you do. Also, don’t try to sell on the first contact.
- Don’t forget to bring your business card
If you manage to have a decent conversation and present yourself and your company in a good light, then your work is put to waste if you don’t have business cards with you. People tend to forget names, and nobody will make the trouble to remember your name, email address or even the name of your company no matter how much they loved what you do, or how much they needed the services you offer. So, before you go to any event make sure you made your business cards ready.
Pro tip. Write down on your new business card what your new connection is looking for. It will be VERY useful for the next step.
- Follow up
Mere taking business cards will do little if you don’t make bonds straight away. So make sure you’re not back from the conference or a meetup with a bunch of useless information. Take action into your hands and follow up with people you met after a few days. Even though you might not have the immediate reason to do so, make sure you make a connection. You never know what can happen in the future and who, among those people, can help you achieve your goals.
Pro tip. Take a look at what you wrote on the business card (from the previous step) and if you can’t help directly try recommending someone you know and who can do the work. This way you will have a win-win-win situation.
- Move on
Don’t stay too long if you see there’s nothing to be done. Not ALL people are worth listening to and worth of your time. So, if you see someone is just not cut from the same cloth as you are move on. Immediately! Don’t waste your time and your words trying to be polite. Try to fade out from the useless conversation as fast as you can and try fishing out some potential contacts elsewhere. In the end, you will save yourself time, and the time of your interlocutor as well.
Pro tip. This also goes for the people you already agreed on next steps. There is a lot of fish in the sea, so don’t let the opportunities pass you by.
In the end, we hope we gave you some interesting tips on how to effectively mingle at conferences and events. It’s never an easy task to make new contacts, but pushing yourself every time more and more will make you an expert mingler (and bring you a lot of useful contacts as well). If, however, you want to leave this part to an external agency, please feel free to contact us and let’s discuss how we can present your company in a professional manner in the country or abroad.
We wish you good luck at the next networking event and be free to share your experience with us in the comment section below!