People use networking for different reasons: to improve their career opportunities, to build up their business or for other, including private, reasons. Our networking has all chances to be successful if we remember to do certain things and avoid doing some others.
How to choose a networking event
We are constantly confronted by the great variety of events we can attend. How to choose a proper event? It’s good to begin with a few questions: Why do I choose to attend one event or another? Do I go there because I am invited? Do I go there because everybody I know goes? Do I go there out of habit: I’ve been attending this event on the regular basis for a while? Or do I go there because it is really important, interesting and relevant for me?
Like any other event, business networking needs to be carefully chosen. For example, it is always good to know who will attend a given event. Such knowledge helps to decide whether it might be profitable to get to know some of the participants.
We can check profiles of some participants, if this information is available. Is sphere of their activities somehow related to our own? Is their position within their companies comparable to ours? It is always possible to give a call to the organizers of the event and inquire about the list of participants and the event’s immediate goals. We can then compare this information with our own goals, deciding whether it will be worth attending this particular event.
Even if we make a mistake choosing an event, we are free to leave once we realize that it doesn’t match our goals. It’s important, however, to see the difference between irrelevance and diversification. Research shows that people involved in diverse networks are more likely to be promoted or get their promotions faster https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2014/10/20/your-network-is-your-net-worth-7-ways-to-build-social-capital/. If you are based in Switzerland, are you aware, for example, about network events organized by the Premium Business Network.
How to prepare for a networking event
An appropriate mindset is a key to a successful networking event. Feeling insecure or in doubt about our own skills and expertise is a big mistake. In this way we focus on potentially negative consequences and failure. Moreover, we become too self-concerned and inwards-focused to appreciate the event and people we may meet.
It is much better to think in terms of what you can get from this event and not so much what you can give. Research shows your state of mind is associated with your product. If someone is worried, tensed, self-focused what impression do you think they live?
Is there something you would like to know about some of the participants and their businesses? Even if this information is not beneficial for you personally, it may be interesting and relevant for your friends or colleagues. In this way, you are building up your own network and become a person of value: you are a core that connects various people and their businesses. Such a network will certainly bring its fruits in the long run.
Even when you feel that a particular networking event is really important for your career, it’s best to remain yourself. Don’t we all try to pretend being someone else from time to time? But then, don’t we feel better when we don’t need proving anything to anybody?
The best mindset for the networking is to be open to new contacts and new possibilities. At the same time, it is good to be aware of our own goals and values. When we understand ourselves, we can easily respond to the values of others. This helps, in its turn, to find some common grounds and establish long-lasting contacts. To see a real value in another person is to approach them as a personality, leader or successful businessperson. When people realize that we value them as personalities and not as potential business targets, they are more keen to establish contacts, which can later grow into sound business partnerships and even real friendships.
What are the winning strategies during a networking event?
A common mistake of many participants is the lack of movements. People simply wait until someone approaches them. This is a losing strategy. We need to be active, open and willing to meet other people.
Obviously, all of can us feel nervous contemplating our initial moves during the event. This is human. If, however, there is something bigger than a simple nervousness: if there are some reservations or even a fear of networking, it’s better to think about it in advance. We can do some training exercises, think about the questions we would like to ask other participants or even prepare the first introductory phrases. This certainly helps spending time at the event more efficiently.
It is always a good idea to collect some business cards. A networking event is only a top of an iceberg. We need to be ready to continue contacts and communication after the event. It is not enough to just add a new contact to the Linkedin account or your or your address book. There is always a possibility to arrange a next meeting or to meet at another networking event.
What helpful tips did you get from this article? Do you have your own suggestions on how to choose a networking event and what to pay attention to?
Using this opportunity, I would like to invite you to the networking event at Premium Business Network, which will take place on June 4th, 2019, https://www.premiumbusinessnetwork.com
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players…”
(W. Shakespeare, As You Like It)
We believe that each and every one of us is not only a leading actor but first and foremost a writer of our own destiny. Overwhelmed by life events, we may unintentionally forget that we are the sole playwrights of our own lives. We may even unwittingly drop or lose the thread of our unfolding life story. Then, we start questioning ourselves and let others do the writing for us. Doesn’t this happen to all of us occasionally? The best thing we can do is to resume the leadership as soon as we can: only we should write the play of our life!
With the renewed confidence and new skills, we design new perspectives. Coaching and training are the best instruments we use to achieve this goal.