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to what many believe, networking events are not about pressing your business
few years ago I was working with a woman who was an ordained minister. She
had established a prayer ministry that she wanted to promote at an upcoming
ministerial conference. In
preparing for the event, she had created a brochure that outlined her
how to make the most of your next networking event.
in advance whom you want to meet.
Let's say you are attending the event to meet potential employers or
find job leads. Start by defining your ideal job. Be as specific as
possible. Clarity is magnetic!
Clarity helps you recognize opportunity and helps others
prepared to tell people what you do in 30 seconds or less. What you
do is not your job
listening. In the movie,
"Michael", Andie McDowell's character asks Michael how
something you feel great in and that communicates your brand. Here's
someone who has created a simple but powerful way to communicate who she is
and what she does. Her name is Olive and she is a professional photographer.
At networking events, she wears olive colored clothing and a pin in
the shape of a camera. Olive has made it easy to be remembered.
What could make meeting you memorable?
a tag line for your name badge that will stimulate curiosity and
conversation. A coach
for help meeting people.
This one is so simple it can be easily overlooked.
If you don't know anyone at the event you can always ask to be
introduced. When you check in
at the registration desk, ask someone there to suggest a member or attendee
who could introduce you to a few people. If you already know someone at the
event, ask that person to help you. Once
the initial introductions have been made, you can ask each new person you
meet to introduce you to someone he or she knows.
Repeat the process until you have met as many new people as you had
an opening question or statement to get the conversation started. If
you've had difficulty in the past starting a conversation with people you
don't know, have a better experience at your next event by planning an
opening question or statement. A participant at a recent workshop I was
leading told us he breaks the ice by asking the person his or her favorite
color and why. Your opening
question can be something topical about current events or something
surprising like the example. It
could even be as simple as asking why this individual chose to attend the
event or become a member of the organization it represents. The key is to plan for success by preparing what you will say
your business cards!
I meet people all the time who, when I ask them for a card,
moving! Resist the temptation to settle into one place or into
conversation with one person, particularly if that person is someone you
came with or is someone you already know.
If you attend the event with someone, agree to meet at regular
intervals to check on each other's progress or arrange to hook up at the end
of the event to swap experiences.
your network of relationships just the way you want it. Identify who
you would like to be a part of your network.
Identify those you would like to refer business to, those you would
like to partner with and those who would increase your value to your
customers. Then make a point to
seek out those individuals or organizations.
a follow-up system for keeping in touch with the people you meet.
One client sends out email announcements about local events
that haven't been covered in the press.
She has become known as a source of information about these types of
activities. My QuickCOACH electronic newsletter is how I stay connected with
the people I meet at various events. Whatever system you choose, make it
reflect who you are and what you represent. It's one more way to be
yourself! Plan in advance to have a
wonderful experience and you will!
Durack Edwards is a business and personal coach, consultant, professional
speaker, and author. Her newest
book is The Way Things Work: 25 Must-Know Principles for Making Dreams Come