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Neworking Event...Any Tips?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by iain_darkflare, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I've just been asked along to my first networking event next week, since joining my local Chamber of Commerce.

    Anyone been to one before, and tips?

  2. I do believe that the man to ask about this is Berry.. :) I would just suggest business cards and if you have them advertising packs or the like :)
  3. glenwheeler

    glenwheeler Senior Member

    Yeah Chris has pointed out the 2 important thinngs there really, business cards and info packs would be something good to bring a long maybe a little portfolio?
  4. Cool I can do the Business Cards and the Folio.

    I don't have my own info pack at the moment, something I need to do. But I do have Info/Sample packs for the Print Franchise I have just got involved with, so I will have them with me.
  5. berry

    berry Active Member

    Take about 60 business cards - and smile!

    1. You are about to give up a couple of precious hours, so aim to get the most out of it

    2. Get positive and aim to enjoy this event and have some real fun, Dress semi-casual.

    3. Arrive early! If you walk in late, you’ll find it harder to meet people who are already engaged in conversations,

    4. You will see people on their own, open 2 ‘s and 3’s. They will be welcoming. Beware of the closed 2’s 3’s and 4+ groups unless there are people in there you already know.

    5. Get yourself in the right state. …AND NOT “A RIGHT STATE” Walk in, head held high, shoulders back …and smile.

    6. Try to think what you have in common with the people at the event? You all travelled to get here; you are guests of the same hosts; you are all here to learn something; you are all in business.

    7. Plan to talk to 5 new people and gain 5 new pieces of information.

    8. Be creative. Think of something creative that will make you stand out and help break the ice, commencing conversation. Give out cookies with your name on it or something or a a mexican jumping beans.

    9. You are not only selling yourself, but also your company, it’s services or products. You are the human face of your organisation. Whatever impression you make, it will be remembered. Make sure it’s a positive one. When somebody has a need for the services you offer you are aiming for people to remember YOU.

    10. Approach groups you feel comfortable with. Male/female? Younger /older? Tall/ not so tall? This will help to increase your confidence before you tackle the other groups. People are there to meet people, don't hang around in the kitchen at a party.

    11. You are a decent, hardworking and likeable person.( i think) Believe in yourself and in your area of knowledge and expertise

    12. If you are at a table, and have a 2 minute 'elevator pitch' pass the business cards to the person on your left fro distribution before you talk, it will save valuable time.

    13. In the pitch, be confident and assertive, also sell ONE thing and an Offer, maybe free printed business cards with every corporate identity etc. Don't tell them the history of design. Make yourself out a special, with a special offer on the table today.

    14. Allow the other person to talk and they should do the same for you. Be a good listener.

    15. It is more preferable to be more interested than interesting. You learn as much from talking as you do from listening

    16. If you are shy (or believe you are) aim to go with someone you know and ‘hunt in pairs’. When you find it starts to get easier you can attend the next event on your own.

    17. Move on from groups if you are not part of the conversation. Excuse yourself and approach a different group.

    18. Everyone at the event wants to network. They want to meet you just as much as you want to meet them.

    19. There will be the odd rude person ( Me!)…… just get away from them as soon as possible

    20. Small talk is the foundation of all relationships, even business relationships. All information is useful

    21. Know when to stop talking. Some people you meet will want to have long, interesting conversations with you. Others will want to know who you are, what you do, get your information, and move on to the next person. It’s not hard to pick up on the vibe that someone doesn’t want to talk to you anymore. Say “it was great to meet you” and move on.

    22. When you talk business ascertain the person’s background, how business is at present and where they see things going

    23. When you ask for a business card always ask permission to call a few days later. Write down the agreed date on the back of their card

    24. As soon as you get home diarise the call and annotate all useful information on the card in preparation of making that vital follow up call I’d say that you have about 2 days before someone completely forgets about you if no further communication is attempted. While you’re fresh in your new contacts’ minds,

    25. Drop them an email. Keep it short and sweet, tell them how great it was to meet them, and if you’re looking for a job, attach your resume.
  6. wow thats a lot to take in, but all very useful.

    Cheers Berry!

    I think I will go over that a few more times over the weekend and try to get sussed for Wednesday.

    I'll be a suit wearing as I have an important meeting just before, i'll ditch the jacket in the car.

    Apparently there is a golf simulator, I haven't played since I was 12, it will be interesting.
  7. berry

    berry Active Member

    suits are fine, just no tie.
  8. Tom Sound

    Tom Sound Active Member

    Great post Berry, the main thing I came away with is a real sense of motivation and positivity especially during this recession where you quickly realise there are other small companies in all industries going through the same motions and emotions as you. I agree about the suit, I wore one once and someone asked what area of finance I was in as an ice breaker, particularly made me chuckle as I'm usually a bit of a scruffy herbert.

    Best of luck Iain, enjoy it!
  9. Thanks Tom, I will try my best.

    p.s. Can I not even wear a hilarious novelty type tie?
  10. Thought I'd give a bit of an update.

    I managed to make it along on time, and met a few interesting folk. I didn't have the chance to talk to as many people as I wanted to, and there wasn't as large an attendance as hoped due to the Celtic Champions League match, and the Ayr United Cup match. (26 folk from 21 companies) There was a Golf Simulator there, so most of the time was taken up running a competition on that, so no one was up to much until after that was over.

    Overall I think it was a good introduction to this type of event. I will strive to make it more productive next time around, knowing a bit more about how they work.

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