New to Networking?
So you’re at your first networking event and you’re standing in the corner gripping your drink like it’s your only friend…. “How the hell do I “network?” you ask yourself, “Actually… what is networking?”
Well, I’ve written a list of what you should do, with a couple of things you maybe shouldn't as well, to help you develop your networking techniques. However being a new networker myself, I would love to hear your top tips too!
• Firstly, if you’re not a big talker then don’t fear, think about what you would do if your friends came round for dinner…. You’d become the host! Try to engage the people around you and make them feel comfortable, in turn you will feel more relaxed too.
• Do your research! A bit of pre-network-networking will never go a miss. Have a scout on Twitter and see who’s going to the event and what they’re saying about it. A few event-related tweets may be a conversation starter. If you want to find out more specific information on the type of event you’re interested in, then I suggest a visit to Linkedin.com
and search the groups and communities.
• Do make friends, you may be there for work purposes, but all work and no play makes ‘insert your name here’ a very dull networker! Chat about your interests outside of work and you may just meet your new best friend!
• Don’t forget to say hello to the people you met at a previous event. It’s very important to keep your existing connections and expand on them.
• Do reconnect with the people you’ve met, make sure you ask for their business card and contact them through Twitter and/or LinkedIn. Let them know how nice it was to meet them, and thank them for that beer (or three) that they bought you.
• Do have a goal to speak to one or two new people at each event you go to. This way your network of contacts will gradually grow.
• Do have a drink or two… but don’t over-do it, no one likes a slurry networker and there’s a level of professionalism to be kept if you are representing your company.
• Do wear suitable clothes which show your personality, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and like it or not, what you wear plays a part.
• Do try and share your stories, opinions and ideas, but equally listen to others.
• Do smile (but not manically). No-one wants to talk to Mr. Grumpy
• Do remember everyone’s names that you are introduced to and use them when talking and emailing. It shows manners and instantly creates more of a personal connection.
• Don’t drink a lot of red wine. It makes getting to work the next day less of a chore! (If only I knew this before my first event!)
I hope these tips help at your first or next networking event. We would love to hear what networking means to you and some of your advice on how to be an effective and fun networker. I’m sure there are plenty more do’s and don’ts that we could all do with reading before our next event!
We don't just talk or blog about events, our Orchard team are out and about at a variety of digital, creative and marketing related events across the North West and Yorkshire regions every month. Take a look at our Events Calendar
to see what's coming up, and you can see some photos of the recent events we've been to on our Pinterest board