Networking is a great way for professionals to make quality connections and find future employees and even prospective employers. There are, however, several things to consider to ensure that you make the most of your time spent networking.
Firstly, make sure you do some research before attending any event. Nothing is more valuable than your time and it would be a huge waste to attend an event that offered no benefit to you or your business.
Arrive early to avoid the rush. This will also give you time to set up your stall and even have a walk around to see what other businesses have to offer. It is vital that you are well-presented, as your own image is likely to give the first impression of your company as well as you.
It’s important that, with any interaction, you don’t just talk business. Don’t bombard people with business-talk the very moment they reach your stall. Instead, open up the conversation with something that isn’t related to your pitch, as this will make people feel comfortable and will also allow you to find out more about that person so you can adapt your pitch accordingly.
When pitching, the one thing to remember is originality. There will be hundreds of other people at the event after the exact same goal. Make your pitch interesting and engaging; avoid being too forceful and keep to the point.
Make your business card as original as your pitch so that it isn’t thrown away along with other piles of dull cards. Be imaginative, as this will be a great reflection on your business.
As important as what happens at the event is what happens after it. The recommended time before follow-up is 48 hours. It’s important to remember the individual conversations you had, and to use this information to open the follow-up e-email.