At times, networking is just like the first day of school. You walk through the front door searching for a familiar face or inconspicuously looking around for someone that may interest you. Then, you awkwardly walk up to them and introduce yourself, praying you don’t trip over your own two feet in your brand new pair of shoes. As ISES New Jersey North prepares for Get Smart: Back to School, being held on Monday, September 28, 2015 at the Galloping Hill Golf Course, we can all use a refresher course in networking. Here is a little cheat sheet that will help you have a successful first day back to school.
While you prepare for a networking event, ask yourself the following questions:
Who do I want to meet?
What do I want out of networking?
Where do I see myself?
Why am I going to this event?
How will this event benefit me?
Create an elevator pitch that is memorable and catches your audience’s attention quickly. This should include what your service or product is and what separates you from the rest.
Dress to impress to leave a lasting first impression.
Bring business cards to stay connected.
The Big Exam
After all your studying and preparation, it is time for the big exam.
When you arrive to the event, enter with confidence.
Scan the room to find the people you were looking to meet and network with. If you don’t know anyone, introduce yourself to the person who is hosting the event. This can lead to different conversation starters with other attendees.
Always introduce yourself by your full name.
Engage in casual conversation and present your company by using your elevator pitch. Networking is about building relationships, not making the sale.
A networking event is when a conversation usually begins, not ends.
Within 48 hours of your initial meeting, send a follow up email to who you have connected with.
Personalize each email and mention something that you spoke about.
Schedule your next meeting to flourish your connections.
Networking is a powerful tool for success in the event industry. When you attend your next networking event, make sure to remember and follow these steps for a guaranteed A+ in Networking!