Download PDF Im at a Networking Event--Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Any Networking Event

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We can play all the right cards to set us up for a the big moment, but a time will come when we need to put ourselves out there and firmly express what we want. How can we do this without sounding aggressive? Consider your answer to the classic job interview question "Why should we hire you over the other candidates? Your approach to getting what you want from networking isn't all that different, except it's important to express your flexibility. In her book Lean In , Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg references a time a woman approached her asking for a job by asking what her core business problems were and how she could fix them.

This combination of flexibility and confidence in getting the job done is a brilliant way to frame your next big ask. Be firm on what you want, but be clear that what you want is mutually beneficial. It's important to remember that networking isn't like speed-dating. The goal isn't to meet as many people as you can -- it's to make valuable connections.

While it's important not to rush through conversations for this reason, there are times when we need to jump ship. Whether you're chatting with someone who won't let you get a word in, or someone who is wasting time whining about their boss, you should still be polite when ending the conversation. Alternatively, consider asking them "Have you seen anyone from [company name] tonight? I've been meaning to chat with them. In the future, if you need to get out of a torturous conversation, end the discussion in the moment, but keep it feeling open-ended for the future. We sometimes meet people at events that spark our interest even though we don't have any projects, mutual friends, or upcoming events to connect with about.

But you never know who you may want advice or guidance from in the future. For instance, I once met the CEO of a small video marketing firm at an event.

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Even though I didn't work in video, I felt we connected during our conversation. He mentioned his son had just become a freshman at my alma mater. I followed up via LinkedIn and told him how nice it was to meet him, and to let me know if his son had any questions about starting at college. Shortly after, he put in a great word with my then-boss about meeting me and told me to reach out to him in the future.

Ultimately, following-up with a personal connection helps you differentiate and solidify the relationship. Plan on attending a networking event soon? Leave awkwardness at the door by walking in with full confidence.

1. Don’t think of it as networking

Remember -- the outcome of the evening is up to you. Originally published Aug 20, PM, updated September 17 Contact Us. Investors Investor Relations. Subscribe to Our Blog Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news. Thank You! Get HubSpot free. Marketing 7 min read.

Written by Hannah Fleishman hbfleishman. People love to talk about themselves. The key to making a great first impression is to be curious about the other person. Asking a thoughtful question having done your homework on the attendees first is a great way to put others at ease and demonstrate your listening skills.

The more interested you are in others, the more interesting you become. We all have that one line or story about what we love about what we do and what our company does. Make your intro spiel personal.

How to network: 17 tips for shy people

People will see you are genuine and it will resonate. Networking events can be intimidating, awkward and loaded with pressure. If you go into it with the intention of getting new leads or gathering X amount of business cards, it's likely to become uncomfortable. I was recently given the best networking advice: Be authentic and simply try to make a new friend.

This takes the pressure off, allows you to be yourself and leads to stronger connections. When I discuss my business, I always try to share, not sell. I also do a bit of homework on which connections make sense for me to connect with so I am focusing my energy chatting with people who are relevant to my career and industry.

Find out if you qualify at Opinions expressed are those of the author. Be ready to engage. You are not schmoozing. Smile and be approachable. A friendly, confident demeanor is attractive. Non-verbal communication is a pre-cursor to verbal communication so make sure you're not sitting in a dark corner or hiding behind your drink with your shoulders humped into your phone. Eye contact, a smile and a firm but warm handshake are all strong non-verbal cues that invite conversation. Be open, show interest in those you're talking to and offer genuine compliments.

Have your second elevator speech ready but deliver it naturally and conversationally. You want to provide compelling information about what you do and be prepared to answer questions, but you also want to listen and engage in a way that facilitates establishing a real human connection.

Networking events aren't card collecting events. The goal is making personal connections.

7 Tips and Tricks to get the Most Out of Networking Events - ScreenCraft

Developing one quality personal connection trumps collecting a short stack of business cards. A good connection can translate into a good contact. It pays to be selective. Figure out what connections are most relevant to your passions and talents. Develop a list of a "significant few" professional contacts and nurture those relationships by contacting them regularly. Create a secondary list of those you might contact in the future. Then, add all of your connections to your social network and look for ways to engage them on an ongoing basis.

Make emotional connections. Ask questions that invoke thought. Mark Zuckerberg states that you should learn to start where you are. Whether imagined or real , believe that people like you and the world is ready to receive you.

The Expert MC's Guide to Running a Speed Networking Event

Part of making connections is helping people. When you meet people, pay attention to what they say to see if they have a problem you can help solve. Always be generous and willing to help. Related: 13 Habits of Exceptionally Likable People.

15 secrets to becoming a master networker—even if the word 'networking' makes you panic

Collaboration is a human dynamic that even introverts can take part in. Networking is collaborative. People need your help, and you need theirs. Don't be afraid to offer that help or shy about asking for a favor. You can help people, and they can help you. Leave your comfort zone. Be willing to mix and listen, and to introduce yourself and ask questions.

Relationships and careers are built through collaboration. Collaboration means working with people and organizations. Concentrate on building a network that adds value to your organization and enables you to improve and grow your reputation. Establish networks both with individuals and organizations, so you can maintain a connection with an organization even after individual connections leave a company. Collaboration expands your personal network. Networking is human, and introvert or extrovert, we're all human. It allows us to help each other, work together and grow along the way by conversing and connecting and collaborating.