Networking events are often a daunting necessity for many professionals. You don’t want to go, but you know you have to. Attending networking events is crucial in today’s professional world. Here are a few things to keep in mind when networking:
- Have a Goal
- Do Your Homework
- Dress to Impress
- Bring Copies of Your Resume and Business Cards
- Listen First, Absorb, and Then Contribute
These tips come from Laura Katen, President of Katen Consulting, and Adam Mendler, CEO of The Veloz Group.
Have a Goal
Before you attend the event, you must ask yourself a few questions. Why are you going? What do you want to get out of it? When you are aware of why you are attending, you will make your time networking more useful. Instead of aimlessly wandering around the room, set goals for yourself to stay focused.
Do Your Homework
You should know who is attending, and what industries will be present. Do some research so that you have insightful things to contribute to the conversations. If the event does not cater to your needs, or the people are not relevant to your goals, cut your losses and go home. Focus your energy on networking for growth and connection.
Dress to Impress
You must dress professionally! If you look disheveled or too casual, you will not make an impression. Make sure you are dressed not only professionally, but also comfortably. If you are fidgeting with the new dress you just bought, you may come off as nervous or uncertain. Confidence is key, so make sure your wardrobe represents that!
Bring Copies of Your Resume and Business Cards
This one is pretty self-explanatory. After all, how will the great people you interacted with remember you? Give them your card so that they have to remember you!
Listen First, Absorb, and Then Contribute
Firstly, make an effective and confident introduction of yourself. After this, listen. When you have a good footing on the conversation, contribute. Try not to dominate the discussion, and make sure to ask questions!
Networking events will most likely always give you butterflies in your stomach, however, they are worth it. You never know who you could meet or what could happen to your career after. Keep an open mind, exhibit confidence, and make connections! Happy networking!
Most WEST events have a facilitated networking component. Take a look at our upcoming events and see what fits your interest and availability.