The purpose of networking is to make connections with people who can help your career, business and life. Networking can be intimidating, but if you put in the effort upfront by doing some research and planning ahead of time, it doesn’t have to be hard or awkward! In this article we’ll explain how to work a room like a pro.
Do your research.
- Do your research.
- Research the event and the people you will be meeting. This can be as simple as Googling the event’s website and looking at past events on their website, or contacting someone who has been to this type of networking event before (if possible). This will give you an idea of what kind of crowd to expect and what kinds of conversations might take place at such an event. It also helps with knowing who else will be there so that when they walk up to say hello, you know what they do for work!
- Figure out your goals and objectives for attending this particular networking opportunity: Are you looking for new clients? Looking for job opportunities? Or maybe just trying to expand connections within your industry? Whatever it may be, make sure these goals are clear in mind before entering any room full of people!
Create a plan.
You’ve heard it before, but planning is key to success. The more organized you are, the more efficient and effective your networking experience will be.
Planning allows you to focus on what’s important and prioritize accordingly. It also helps prevent mistakes by ensuring that all bases are covered in advance of any event or conversation.
You should plan out how long each conversation will last and make sure that it stays on track; this will help ensure that no one feels rushed or pressured into talking about something they don’t want to discuss (or worse yet, having their time wasted).
Identify key influencers.
Identify key influencers.
Identifying the key influencers in the room will help you determine who to talk to, and how best to approach them. While this may seem like something only professionals can do, there are actually several ways that anyone can identify these people:
- Look for people who are surrounded by others (or who have been talking with multiple people). These are probably your best bets for making connections at an event.
- Watch out for those who have been approached by others as well–they might be more approachable than someone who has been left alone with their drink all night!
Remember the value of small talk.
Small talk is a great way to break the ice, as well as learn more about someone. You can find out where they’re from and what their interests are through asking questions about their name, hometown or job.
You should also use small talk to get information about the event or location. This will make you seem more attentive and engaged with your surroundings, which makes people feel more comfortable talking with you because they know that if there’s anything going on in the area that might be relevant to them (or even just interesting), then it won’t fall on deaf ears!
Prepare before you arrive.
Before you arrive, make sure you know where the event is being held and how to get there. It’s also important to have an idea of what the dress code is and who will be in attendance. If possible, take a look at their website or social media page beforehand so that when people ask what brings you there, it won’t seem like a complete surprise (and then they’ll want more info).
The agenda should be available online or posted near registration tables so that if someone asks “What am I supposed to do here?”, not only do you have an answer but also some insight into what kind of person they are: Do they need direction? Are they independent? Are they open-minded? And lastly–knowing when things start and end gives us confidence in ourselves because we feel prepared for whatever comes next!
Come prepared with questions for your host or other attendees about their work and interests, but also make sure you have some questions for yourself as well, so you can learn more about what you may be missing out on in terms of potential opportunities, advice and information that could help you grow your business.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Ask questions that are genuine and relevant to the event.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If someone has something they can share with you, don’t be shy about asking them for it. Networking events are a great place for this because many people will freely give advice if asked nicely by another attendee or guest who may not know much about their field yet (or at all). Just don’t overdo it–there’s nothing worse than having someone ramble on about themselves when all we want is some advice from our peers!
- Be prepared for networking events by doing research and planning ahead of time so that when opportunities arise during conversations with other attendees/hosts/guests etc., everyone knows what they’re talking about without having to stop everything else going on around them just so they can Google something right then-and-there before continuing onto another topic entirely without any context whatsoever…
Be genuine and sincere when talking with people at networking events – it’s tempting to just play to an audience or put on a show, but remember that these people are there because they want real connections that can help them too! And if they don’t want real connections then they are likely not worth your time anyway! It’s better to keep things simple, listen more than talk and make connections with people who want to connect with you as well rather than try to force something that isn’t there just yet.
- Be genuine and sincere when talking with people at networking events – it’s tempting to just play to an audience or put on a show, but remember that these people are there because they want real connections that can help them too! And if they don’t want real connections then they are likely not worth your time anyway! It’s better to keep things simple, listen more than talk and make connections with people who want to connect with you as well rather than try to force something that isn’t there just yet.
- Don’t be afraid of silence – sometimes silence is good because it allows you time think about what you’re going say next instead of blurting out whatever comes into mind first (which may not even be relevant). You may also find yourself saying something interesting based on what was said before yours in order for them not feel like they’ve missed anything important.”
Networking doesn’t have to be hard or awkward if you put in effort upfront by doing some research and planning ahead of time!
Networking can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. If you put in effort upfront by doing some research and planning ahead of time!
Networking is about building relationships. You can do research online, through social media and by talking to people in your network. You can also plan ahead by thinking about what you want out of an event or even a specific person at the event (e.g., someone who might help with your career goals).
Once you’ve figured out what kind of networking opportunities fit your needs best (and how much time), then it’s time for action! Make sure that when arriving at an event where there will be lots of other attendees who’ll likely be more interested in themselves than anything else around them…you’re prepared with questions for yourself as well so that no matter what happens during those first few minutes after meeting someone new; whether their name was mentioned beforehand or not – everyone feels comfortable enough not just being ‘there’ but also actually feeling like they’ve already made some progress toward becoming better friends over time…
If you’re looking for a way to get more out of your networking experiences, it can be helpful to think about what makes the most sense for your business or organization. Do you need help building relationships with other professionals in order to grow? Are there people whom you’d like advice from on how best to achieve this goal? Or maybe just some insight on how others have approached similar challenges so that they may inspire new ideas? If so then make sure those people are at least aware of what you do before showing up at an event – and if possible even better-connected than yourself! This will help ensure they have something useful (or valuable) to offer when it comes